Globally Harmonized System of Classification (GHS)
In December 2002, the United Nations published the GHS in the so-called "Purple Book" with a description of harmonized classification and labelling criteria. The goal of GHS is to harmonize the various existing classification and labelling systems all over the world. Because of the various evaluation criteria, it has long been the case that one and the same substance can be classified as poisonous, harmful to health, or even not harmful. This leads to different levels of protection in terms of occupational health and safety, consumer protection, and environmental protection.
GHS offers the first-ever globally uniform basis for the evaluation of substance properties. GHS establishes the requirement for a globally high protection level for human health and the environment.
The resulting harmonized hazard communication includes criteria for classification and labelling as well as hazardous substance labelling and requirements for the creation of Safety Data Sheets.