print logo

UN Releases 6th GHS Revision

By Brian McFadden

The United Nations (UN) has released the Sixth Revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Also known as The Purple Book, the standard is used around the world, and more than seventy nations have adopted at least part of it.

In the United States, OSHA's HazCom 2012 is based on the Third Revision, with modifications tailored for U.S .law and OSHA's workplace-safety focus. Less than one year away, June 1, 2016, is the final deadline by which OSHA expects U.S. employers to fully comply with its 2012 final rule revising the Hazard Communication Standard.

What's New with GHS?

Preview of GHS Infographic

  • New Hazard Class: “Desensitized Explosives”
  • Additional sub-category in the existing “Pyrophoric Gases” Class
  • Clarifications in criteria for Explosives, Acute Organ Toxicity, Aspiration Hazards, and Aquatic Environment Hazards
  • Additional details to be included on the SDS (in Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties)
  • Revised Precautionary Statements
  • New example: labeling small packages (pictured in Annex 7)

What’s Not New with GHS?

None of the pictograms or label layouts are changing, and the core of the system is still the same. Visually, there is almost no difference; the changes are mostly on the Classification end, and not the Labeling end.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Download the complete GHS standard here or contact Graphic Products at 888.326.9244 for more information.