Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)  

The United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) addresses classification of chemicals by types of hazard and recommends harmonized hazard communication requirements, including warning labels and safety data sheets (SDS). The GHS seeks to ensure that information regarding the physical hazards and toxicological properties of chemicals is available to improve the protection of human health and the environment during the handling, transport and use of such chemicals. The GHS also establishes a framework for harmonization of rules and regulations for chemicals at national, regional and worldwide levels. The GHS is a voluntary initiative, but governments around the world have committed to implementing the system by 2008.

The goal of the GHS is to standardize and harmonize the classification and labeling of chemicals internationally by defining the hazards of chemicals; creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and communicating hazard information through warning labels and Safety Data Sheets.

PPG's Position
PPG supports the main objective of the GHS, to provide a world-wide standard that will facilitate the distribution of hazard information pertaining to chemicals and chemical mixtures in a standardized and understandable manner.

PPG also supports the creation and maintenance of a worldwide substances classification data base along with a fair transition period to allow all supply chain stakeholders ample time to meet the intended GHS requirements for SDS and warning labels.

PPG's Actions
PPG is in the process of implementing centralized global systems to assist in the creation and distribution of compliant SDS and labels worldwide. A key PPG initiative is developing a Global Product Stewardship (GPS) system to consolidate and standardize environment, health and safety (EHS) data about products as well as the procedures for generating Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), hazard label content and other regulatory documents. For more information on the PPG GPS, please click here.

In addition, PPG participated in the European Union and United States public comment processes as part of the implementation of GHS in the EU and United States.

PPG has provided label symbols and text for coatings and aerospace products to comply with Japan’s recent industrial product implementation of GHS. Additional activities are underway to prepare for GHS implementation in South Korea.

To learn more about the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), please click here.