Description of "GHS converter" module
The GHS converter can be used to establish a proposed "new" GHS-compliant classification based on the previous classification in line with the guideline relating to the relevant substance or preparation. If the substance’s UN number is also indicated which provides details on the transport classification that now applies, an even more precise classification is possible in the new GHS system in many cases.
In the case of substances, the GHS converter also checks whether there is an existing legal classification in former Annex I of the Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC (now: Annex VI of the CLP-Regulation). If this is the case, the minimum classification can be found in the new Annex VI of the CLP-Regulation. (*) This classification is then output by the GHS converter.
(*) CLP-Regulation: The GHS system of the UN is implemented with the CLP regulation (regulation on classification, labelling and packaging).
In the case of preparations, the translation table (Annex VII of the CLP Regulation) is used for reclassification. This is permitted in the transitional period (to 31 May 2015). The table delivers good results for preparations classified on the basis of test results. The overwhelming majority of preparations were previously classified using conventional methods (concentration limits, calculation methods). In these cases, the results calculated using the GHS converter may differ significantly from the classification that would be produced using the new GHS methods for classifying mixtures. This applies in particular to the Acute toxicity, Skin corrosion/irritation and Reproductive toxicity hazard classes.
These different classifications will exist side by side during the transitional period.
First stage of the output process: Hazard class and category
The new GHS-based classification is output in stages: The class and category for the GHS classification are suggested at the first stage, and these can still be changed in certain cases, for example in the event of a minimum classification. This is illustrated in the following example:
In this example, category 4 or category 3 is possible for the “Acute toxicity” classification for both dermal exposure and inhalation. Based on the specifications, category 4 was selected in each case. Further details which may help you decide on the correct classification are provided in a message window. The information box appears on the left if you move the mouse pointer over "Info XY".
The lower hazard classes and categories each have a greyed-out checkbox. Based on the details entered, classification is unambiguous here.
The entries at this stage have a decisive influence on hazard communication. If no further information is available (such as flash point or LD50 values), the classification preselected by the GHS converter can generally be left as it is.
Second stage: Hazard pictograms, signal word, hazard statements
The pictograms, signal word and hazard statements are then output at the second stage. Some hazard statements allow additional text (known as parameters) to be entered.
For example, two text additions are possible for H373. If no further information is available, these fields can be left as automatically preselected by the system. In this case, H373 would read as follows: "May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure". With further information, however, the following sentence could also be displayed by inputting the relevant parameters: "May cause damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure if swallowed or in contact with skin."
Third stage of the output process: Output document or entering precautionary statements
Once the hazard statements have been entered, either an output document can be created directly or further label details can be added by selecting precautionary statements.
The system has identified the precautionary statements that match the hazard classes and categories. These include many statements with possible text additions (known as parameters) that need to be applied as appropriate, as with the hazard statements.
The CLP Regulation states that no more than 6 precautionary statements shall appear on the label. Checkboxes are therefore displayed before each statement. It is up to you to determine which statements are appropriate. Check the relevant boxes and add any parameters deemed appropriate.
After the precautionary statements have been entered (or straight after the hazard statements using the shortcut), an HTML page appears with the previous and future label details. This comparison can be output as a Word or PDF document (for instruction purposes, for example). Hazardous substance labels can also be prepared. To do so, you need to enter the details required in addition to the label on another page and then create another Word or PDF document.
Further information on the new GHS system can be found under "Background information". The limits of the GHS converter are indicated under "Conditions of use". The proposed results are by way of an indication only.