Frequently Asked Questions

Sections

GHS/CLP

What are GHS and CLP?

GHS is the UN's Globally Harmonized System for classification and labelling of chemicals. CLP (Classification, Labelling, Packaging) is the EU regulation implementing the Globally Harmonized System.

When is classification of mixtures required?

In 2015 both the EU (May 31) and the US (June 1) will require GHS classification of mixtures.

Are there resources available to guide classification of substances?

There are several sources of information about the classification of substances available, including resources made available through government websites as well as through private companies.

With the implementation of the GHS system in the US (1 June 2015) and the EU (30 November 2010) suppliers are required to provide GHS hazard classification of substances. Therefore, Safety Data Sheets and labels will contain GHS classification of substances.

Furthermore, the European Union maintains a database of GHS classifications of substances. While the majority of these classifications have been submitted to the EU from users, the EU has also evaluated and harmonized the classification of thousands of chemicals, which can be selected for in the database by checking the box indicating "Search only harmonized substances."

Are the US and EU hazard classifications always the same?

There are several health hazard categories where the US and EU regulation differ in the cut-offs that were set, including: Carcinogenicity (H351), Respiratory Sensitization (H334) and Reproductive Hazard (H360 and H361).

GHS Mixture Calculator Usage

What is GHS Mixture Calculator?

GHS Mixture Calculator is a tool that automates the classification and label generation for mixtures under the Globally Harmonized System.

How are environmental hazards calculated for the US?

Environmental hazards for the US are calculated using the EU model. As of development of this software, Fall 2014, the US has not adopted the environmental portion of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System. However, this tool still provides this information for US determinations by using the same model as the EU.

How are the determinations made for mixtures?

This program uses guidance values provided in the EU and US regulations to determine the classification for the mixture based on known classifications for the substances within the mixture.

Regulatory agencies understand the complexity of determining the hazard classification of mixtures, especially considering the wide variety of mixtures that can be present in the marketplace which are all composed of the same substances. Both the EU and US regulations recognize that the best way to evaluate hazard is empirically, and recommend providing this information whenever possible.

However, the EU Regulation EC No 1272/2008 (Classification, Labelling and Packaging – CLP) and the US (OSHA HazCom 2012) regulations provide general rules for determining the classification of a mixture. Both are based on the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for hazard communication. These regulations dictate the percentage of which a substance within a mixture with a known hazard will transfer its hazard classification to the mixture.

What do I do if the classification determined by the tool does not match empirical data that has been generated for the mixture?

Empirical data always defines the hazard, when available. This tool is only meant to provide information when empirical data about a mixture is not available. Whenever data is available that can be used to classify the hazard of a mixture, that should be used instead of this tool.

How do I determine the physical hazards for the mixture?

Unfortunately, since the regulations do not provide similar guidance for physical hazards as they do for health and environmental hazards, this software does not and cannot make those determinations.

The most conservative approach for determining the physical hazards for a mixture would be to transfer all physical hazards from all substances in a mixture to the mixture.

This is likely to result in overclassification of the mixture in many cases, however, in the absence of empirical data about the physical hazard of the mixture this is the only approach that could inform the classification of physical hazards of the mixture.

Why aren't there any substances classified in the system?

The tool does not provide classifications for any substances, and instead relies on user input of classifications for substances. Based on known classifications of substances, the tool then determines the classification of mixtures. Determining the hazard classification of substances should be based on empirical data or other established methods for evaluating the hazard of substances. Classification of the hazards of substances should be conducted by subject matter experts trained in hazard evaluation

Why is the site missing some categories like H303-Harmful if swallowed, H333-May be harmful if inhaled, etc?

We understand that there are some countries which have adopted these categories, and in fact some individuals in the US and EU use these categories even though neither the EU or US has adopted these categories. However, due to the fact that neither the EU or US has adopted these categories, and the fact that they do not communicate relevant hazard information (these categories represent categories which represent very low risk to employees and others who would come in contact with the material, for example Eye Irritation category 2B, H320, has a definition that is so broad that nearly everything would qualify), we did not include these categories in our classification.

Pricing

How much does GHS Mixture Calculator Cost?

GHXMixtures.com is free up to 10 mixture labels, and it is $350 per year for unlimited mixtures.
Academic users: please contact us for a free account.

How do I pay?

We accept credit card payments, which are processed over an encrypted SSL connection to Stripe, a secure online payment processor. We can provide invoices on request.