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GHS hazard statement

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GHS hazard statement

Hazard statements form part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). They are intended to form a set of standardized phrases about the hazards of chemical substances and mixtures that can be translated into different languages.[1][2] As such, they serve the same purpose as the well-known R-phrases, which they are intended to replace.

Hazard statements are one of the key elements for the labelling of containers under the GHS, along with:[3]

  • an identification of the product;
  • one or more hazard pictograms (where necessary)
  • a signal word – either DANGER or WARNING – where necessary
  • precautionary statements, indicating how the product should be handled to minimize risks to the user (as well as to other people and the general environment)
  • the identity of the supplier (who might be a manufacturer or importer)

Each hazard statement is designated a code, starting with the letter H and followed by three digits. Statements which correspond to related hazards are grouped together by code number, so the numbering is not consecutive. The code is used for reference purposes, for example to help with translations, but it is the actual phrase which should appear on labels and safety data sheets.[4]

Physical hazards

  • H200: Unstable explosive
  • H201: Explosive; mass explosion hazard
  • H202: Explosive; severe projection hazard
  • H203: Explosive; fire, blast or projection hazard
  • H204: Fire or projection hazard
  • H205: May mass explode in fire
  • H220: Extremely flammable gas
  • H221: Flammable gas
  • H222: Extremely flammable aerosol
  • H223: Flammable aerosol
  • H224: Extremely flammable liquid and vapour
  • H225: Highly flammable liquid and vapour
  • H226: Flammable liquid and vapour
  • H227: Combustible liquid
  • H228: Flammable solid
  • H229: Pressurized container: may burst if heated
  • H230: May react explosively even in the absence of air
  • H231: May react explosively even in the absence of air at elevated pressure and/or temperature
  • H240: Heating may cause an explosion
  • H241: Heating may cause a fire or explosion
  • H242: Heating may cause a fire
  • H250: Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to air
  • H251: Self-heating; may catch fire
  • H252: Self-heating in large quantities; may catch fire
  • H260: In contact with water releases flammable gases which may ignite spontaneously
  • H261: In contact with water releases flammable gas
  • H270: May cause or intensify fire; oxidizer
  • H271: May cause fire or explosion; strong oxidizer
  • H272: May intensify fire; oxidizer
  • H280: Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated
  • H281: Contains refrigerated gas; may cause cryogenic burns or injury
  • H290: May be corrosive to metals

Health hazards

  • H300: Fatal if swallowed
  • H301: Toxic if swallowed
  • H302: Harmful if swallowed
  • H303: May be harmful if swallowed
  • H304: May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways
  • H305: May be harmful if swallowed and enters airways
  • H310: Fatal in contact with skin
  • H311: Toxic in contact with skin
  • H312: Harmful in contact with skin
  • H313: May be harmful in contact with skin
  • H314: Causes severe skin burns and eye damage
  • H315: Causes skin irritation
  • H316: Causes mild skin irritation
  • H317: May cause an allergic skin reaction
  • H318: Causes serious eye damage
  • H319: Causes serious eye irritation
  • H320: Causes eye irritation
  • H330: Fatal if inhaled
  • H331: Toxic if inhaled
  • H332: Harmful if inhaled
  • H333: May be harmful if inhaled
  • H334: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled
  • H335: May cause respiratory irritation
  • H336: May cause drowsiness or dizziness
  • H340: May cause genetic defects
  • H341: Suspected of causing genetic defects
  • H350: May cause cancer
  • H351: Suspected of causing cancer
  • H360: May damage fertility or the unborn child
  • H361: Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child
  • H361d: Suspected of damaging the unborn child
  • H362: May cause harm to breast-fed children
  • H370: Causes damage to organs
  • H371: May cause damage to organs
  • H372: Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
  • H373: May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure

Environmental hazards

  • H400: Very toxic to aquatic life
  • H401: Toxic to aquatic life
  • H402: Harmful to aquatic life
  • H410: Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects
  • H411: Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects
  • H412: Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects
  • H413: May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life
  • H420: Harms public health and the environment by destroying ozone in the upper atmosphere

Country-specific hazard statements

European Union

The European Union has implemented the GHS through the CLP Regulation. Nevertheless, the older system based on the Dangerous Substances Directive will continue to be used in parallel until 2016. Some R-phrases which do not have simple equivalents under the GHS have been retained under the CLP Regulation:[5] the numbering mirrors the number of the previous R-phrase.

Physical properties

  • EUH001: Explosive when dry
  • EUH006: Explosive with or without contact with air
  • EUH014: Reacts violently with water
  • EUH018: In use may form flammable/explosive vapour-air mixture
  • EUH019: May form explosive peroxides
  • EUH044: Risk of explosion if heated under confinement

Health properties

  • EUH029: Contact with water liberates toxic gas
  • EUH031: Contact with acids liberates toxic gas
  • EUH032: Contact with acids liberates very toxic gas
  • EUH066: Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness or cracking
  • EUH070: Toxic by eye contact
  • EUH071: Corrosive to the respiratory tract

Environmental properties

  • EUH059: Hazardous to the ozone layer, superseded by GHS Class 5.1 in the second adaptation to technical progress of CLP.

Other EU hazard statements

Some other hazard statements intended for use in very specific circumstances have also been retained under the CLP Regulation.[6] Note that, in this case, the numbering of the EU specific hazard statements can coincide with GHS hazard statements if the "EU" prefix is not included.

  • EUH201: Contains lead. Should not be used on surfaces liable to be chewed or sucked by children.
    • EUH201A: Warning! Contains lead.
  • EUH202: Cyanoacrylate. Danger. Bonds skin and eyes in seconds. Keep out of the reach of children.
  • EUH203: Contains chromium(VI). May produce an allergic reaction.
  • EUH204: Contains isocyanates. May produce an allergic reaction.
  • EUH205: Contains epoxy constituents. May produce an allergic reaction.
  • EUH206: Warning! Do not use together with other products. May release dangerous gases (chlorine).
  • EUH207: Warning! Contains cadmium. Dangerous fumes are formed during use. See information supplied by the manufacturer. Comply with the safety instructions.
  • EUH208: Contains <name of sensitising substance>. May produce an allergic reaction.
  • EUH209: Can become highly flammable in use.
    • EUH209A: Can become flammable in use.
  • EUH210: Safety data sheet available on request.
  • EUH401: To avoid risks to human health and the environment, comply with the instructions for use.

New Zealand

As of March 2009, the relevant New Zealand regulations under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 do not specify the exact wording required for hazard statements. However, the New Zealand classification system includes three categories of environmental hazard which are not included in the GHS Rev.2:

  • Ecotoxicity to soil environment
  • Ecotoxicity to terrestrial vertebrates
  • Ecotoxicity to terrestrial invertebrates

These are classes 9.2–9.4 respectively of the New Zealand classification scheme, and are divided into subclasses according to the degree of hazard.[7] Substances in subclass 9.2D ("Substances that are slightly harmful in the soil environment") do not require a hazard statement, while substances in the other subclasses require an indication of the general degree of hazard and general type of hazard.[8]


  1. ^ The United Nations has published the list of GHS hazard statements in all UN official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish): it can be found in Annex 3 of GHS Rev.2 for the corresponding language.
  2. ^ A list of translations into all the European Union official languages can be found in Annex III to the CLP Regulation, on pages 146–91 of the official English-language version for the GHS statements and pages 192–209 for the EU-specific statements.
  3. ^ Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2
  4. ^ Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2
  5. ^ Annex III, CLP Regulation, pp. 192–200.
  6. ^ Annex III, CLP Regulation, pp. 200–9.
  7. ^ Schedule 6, Hazardous Substances (Classification) Regulations 2001
  8. ^ reg. 20, Hazardous Substances (Identification) Regulations 2001


External links

  • Chemical Hazard & Precautionary Phrases in 23 European Languages
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