Labeling of Hazardous Chemicals
The Merck label for chemical products includes the new hazard communication elements according to CLP (hazard pictograms, signal word, hazard and precautionary statements).
Standardized signal words, hazard pictograms and hazard and precautionary statements are a fundamental step towards a worldwide harmonized high safety level.
In the European Union (EU) the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) has been adopted by the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP). CLP will replace the former Dangerous Substances Directive and Dangerous Preparations Directive as of June 1, 2015.
The main elements of the hazard communication according to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) are:
In comparison, the main elements of the former hazard communication according to the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Dangerous Preparations Directive are
H statements resp. R-phrases describe the type and severity of the hazards posed by a substance or mixture. P statements resp. S-phrases recommend measures to be taken in order to reduce or avoid negative effects caused by a hazardous substance or mixture.
Hazard pictograms resp. danger symbols including the signal word resp. indication of danger provide a first visual impression for estimating potential risks.
CLP provides transitional periods for all chemicals to be reclassified and relabeled.
The transitional period for substances ended on December 1, 2010. For mixtures the transitional period will end by June 1, 2015. By this deadline the R and S-phrases for mixtures have to be replaced by H and P statements at the latest.
For substances and mixtures with old labeling a further transitional period of two years for sale off applies.