There needs to be visual classification of chemicals in order for users to correctly identify any potential harmful effects to themselves, others or indeed the environment. Currently, chemical classification law is a mix between EU and domestic legislation running simultaneously but that's all about to change with new Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulations coming into force. Mark De Ath of Headland Amenity explains how this will impact on the labelling of fertilisers and other chemicals.
Hazard warning symbols provide the starting point to allow users to put the necessary controls in place in order to use the products safely and protect people and the world at large. The 'CLP' Regulation' came into force across all European Union countries in January 2009 and adopts the United Nations' Globally Harmonised System for the classification and labelling of chemicals. 'CLP' has had a relatively gradual transitional period but all products manufactured after the 1st June 2015, will need to carry the new hazard warning symbols and have an updated Safety Data Sheet.
'CLP' will aid in the creation of product labels that are recognised around the world and will eventually result in the replacement of the orange hazard warning symbols with new red diamond symbols - examples of some you can expect to find on different products are shown in the panel.
Products must be classified to determine how hazardous they are for both use and transport. The new 'CLP' labelling will communicate this along with an accompanying Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which also must be updated to comply with the new regulation.
Before 1st June 2015 any product already in the supply chain, or user's stores, that carry the old labelling has a two year period of grace to be used up and sold. From the 1st June 2017 no product having the old symbols or old style SDS can be sold.
Headland Amenity have been working hard to meet the 1st June 2015 deadline to ensure the safety of their customers and end users is not compromised. Whilst all product formulations will remain the same, you may find that a product that previously didn't have a hazard warning symbol may now have one in order to meet the new CLP legislation. This is because, for some product constituents, the European set concentration level at which they apply a hazard warning to a product has been lowered. Even if there is no change at all to the original product formulation it will result in some products falling into hazard categories they didn't previously.