June will be an important month for all involved in the chemical industry and biohazard products. Whether it is manufacturers, importers, distributors or users of a chemical, there will be a big change: the obligation to apply the standard of the international system, named GHS (Globally Harmonized System).

What is GHS? This is an international standard that aims to harmonize information on chemicals. With this standard, someone in Germany, Japan or Canada will have the same pictograms and information on chemical and biohazard products. This way, the language becomes unified.

For products which are often dangerous, it is important to properly transmit information, and this begins with clear labels. The GHS standard indicates that the label must include:

  • The product identifier
  • A warnin (when necessary)
  • One or more pictograms, depending on the product
  • A description of how hazardous the product is
  • Safety advice
  • Supplier details

If a label must include all of these elements, it will be clear, informative. It will allow a safe use of the chemicals in question, whether it is in Japan or Canada.

This standard will have consequences for many manufacturers and players in the chemical industry will have to rethink and reprint their labels. But there are many printing solutions, software and thermal printers that can facilitate the transition to these standardized labels. Do not hesitate to contact IMS to find the best solution for you, in order to be ready for these new regulations before June 1, 2015!

For more information on the GHS, click here.