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In 1992, the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED) established 6 program areas to strengthen national and international efforts related to the environmentally sound management of chemicals, one of which was harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals. The first edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was adopted by the UN in December 2002 and published in 2003. Since then, it has been updated every two years.

Summary of GHS

The goal of GHS is to provide standard criteria for classifying chemicals based on health, physical, and environmental hazard, and to standardize the format in which these hazards are communicated.   Hazards are communicated through a visual system of 9 pictograms on container labels and within Safety Data Sheets, and the format of Safety Data Sheets is standardized into 16 sections.  Although GHS provides a set of recommendations, it is not itself a regulation – individual countries must implement GHS through its own regulatory authority.  Therefore, the implementation timeline and specific regulatory details vary by country, and each country has flexibility to adopt or not adopt individual pieces of the GHS recommendations.  

Additional information can be found at the following web sites:
United Nations
EU DG Environment

Hexion GHS

Hexion is implementing and maintaining the applicable GHS version per regional jurisdiction to meet the individual requirements of each GHS adopting country.

In addition, Hexion is fully compliant with applicable International Chemical Control Laws. This includes but is not limited to chemical inventories, import and export restrictions and notification procedures for new chemicals.

Hexion is providing comprehensive safety data sheets (SDS) in local languages to all customers. Hexion is providing, in a staged approach, extended SDSs providing additional information regarding use and exposure scenarios. In addition, Hexion is providing comprehensive product safety brochures for major product lines, and providing customers with detailed advice on safe storage, handling & processing as well as disposal of product residues. Through its collaboration with industry taskforces such as Formacare and industry associations like Epoxy Europe, Hexion is providing further safe use information in layman language, especially targeting users on the shop floor or on construction sites.

Download Hexion's latest customer letters:
Hexion REACH and CLP customer letter
Hexion SVHC Customer letter

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