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How Important is a GHS Safety Data Sheet?

Complying with the norms of GHS seems to be pretty straightforward. Both compliance and practical implementation could be an involved task given the complicacies it has for the uninitiated. Globally harmonized system safety data sheet should be prepared if any formulation or chemical is considered to be hazardous according to different classes.

It will be crucial to prepare GHS safety data sheet for the dealer, manufacturer, exporter or importer whenever a chemical matches cut off value for the different classes of hazards. To give you an example, chemicals falling to acute toxicity class with concentration limit of just 1 percent or more should have appropriate GHS SDS. But in the case of chemicals that are deemed carcinogenic or affecting reproductive organs, the cut off value will be less than .1 percent.

While there is a standardized format, it’s requiring compliance with every section of the 16 sections that are related to the identification, first aid measures, composition, firefighting, handling, accidental release, exposure control, stability and several other info. If it’s only one chemical, then making a decision is going to be easy. In case that the chemical forms part of formulation, then the task becomes complex and will need expert professional assistance to have proper classification.
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Preparing SDS will involve inclusion of minimum information when it comes to GHS product identifier, restrictions along hazard classifications and the use of chemicals. Manufacturers might also hesitate with regards to disclosing ingredients of a particular chemical formulation but this is basically a prerequisite and should be done in a way of ensuring total discretion while providing the information, an area to which the expertise of experienced professionals would be handy.
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In addition to that, it will be important that the contents are couched in simple language that is devoid of ambiguities. Professionals that are involved in SDS preparation are well aware of how to avoid the pitfalls of language used. With this, it makes the content become more precise and accurate regardless of the language usage and geographic locations in different countries.

In places where English isn’t the primary language, a document has to be translated into the country’s native language. For instance, an American company may be exporting to Europe or Far East, then it is crucial for the SDS to be translated in the local language they are using aside from English.

However, not all countries adopted in GHS in the same manner. It is not an obligation for countries to follow these set of recommendations. Truth is, EU have defined more norms.