The classification and labelling of chemicals

The classification and labelling system for chemicals is changing. New pictograms that have been developed, with a white background, are replacing the orange ones. It is important to keep up-to-date with these developments as products containing these labels may cause harm if not handled correctly.

Hazard pictograms are images on labels that include a warning symbol and specific colours that provide information about the damage a particular substance or mixture can cause to health or the environment. The CLP Regulation has introduced a new classification and labelling system for hazardous chemicals in the EU. The pictograms have also changed and are in line with the United Nations Globally Harmonised System.

The new pictograms are in the shape of a red diamond with a white background, and will replace the old orange square symbols which applied under the previous legislation. The old pictograms may be used until 1st June 2017. You may therefore find products labelled with either the orange or white pictogram at your local supermarket or on the shelves of your local hardware store up to that date.

Make sure you learn what the labels mean and read the instructions to ensure safe use. Take this brief test to see how much you know:

echa-classification-labeling-chemicals-clp-quiz

 

Source: European Chemicals Agency, http://echa.europa.eu/