Global Harmonization System of the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals


GHS is an international effort to comprise a standard format for classifying hazardous chemicals.

GHS defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products, providing consistent health and safety information on labels and safety data sheets. GHS covers all physically, environmentally and health hazardous chemicals in the workplace, transport, consumer products, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.


The following is a breakdown of the classes of hazards in each group.


  • Explosives.
  • Flammable gases.
  • Aerosols.
  • Oxidizing gases.
  • Gases under pressure.
  • Flammable liquids.
  • Flammable solids.
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures.
  • Pyrophoric liquids.
  • Pyrophoric solids.
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures.
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases.
  • Oxidizing liquids.
  • Oxidizing solids.
  • Organic peroxides.
  • Corrosive to metals.


  • Acute toxicity.
  • Skin corrosion/irritation.
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation.
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization.
  • Germ cell mutagenicity.
  • Carcinogenicity.
  • Reproductive toxicity.
  • Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure.
  • Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure.
  • Aspiration hazard.


  • Hazardous to the aquatic environment (acute and chronic).
  • Hazardous to the ozone layer.

By using a universal format, it promotes regulatory efficiency and better emergency response to chemical incidents, reduces cost, facilitates trade, encourages safe transport, handling, use and disposal of chemicals, eases compliance, and reduces the need for animal testing.

For more information on Global Harmonization, view the Official Publication of the GHS.

To have your current Global Harmonization System updated, visit Baxter Group, Inc’s Indoor Environmental Department or call 717-263-7341.

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