Globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals

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The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was developed by the United Nations in an effort to standardize hazard classification and labeling globally. GHS organizes chemicals by class and category.

About GHS Hazard Classes and Categories:

Class: There are three overarching hazard classes including physical, health, and environmental hazards. The specific class describes the nature of the hazard (i.e. explosives, skin corrosion, or acute aquatic toxicity).

Category: The category represents the hazard degree. Category 1 hazards are the most severe. Each hazard class has specific criterion for determining the hazard category.

Below are some examples of GHS pictograms that are used for labeling containers and workplace hazards.

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GHS Reporting Thresholds:

When a manufacturer inventory is using the GHS hazard classification methodology and states that a hazard is “below GHS reporting threshold” this means that the substance is not present within the product at a threshold which triggers hazard classification within GHS.

LEED Compliance and Hazard Classification:

According to the LEED credit requirements for the Materials and Resources - Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – material ingredients credit, if a manufacturer makes the name and CASRN for a substance publicly available, they are not required to list the hazard class or category on the inventory. The manufacturer must list any applicable hazard classes and categories for proprietary substances.

Toxnot is a free platform that can be used to search publicly available substances and associated hazards. Click here to learn more about Toxnot:

Please see the tables below for examples of the physical, health, and environmental hazard classes and category options.

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