Globally Harmonized System

The United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UN GHS) is a system for standardising hazard classification criteria and chemical hazard communication elements worldwide.

It describes several physico-chemical, human health and environmental endpoints relating to which substances may present a hazard, and sets out hazard categories and statements under which chemicals may be classified.

Based on the extensive scientific data available to the CI, such as the information generated for the purposes of compliance with the EU REACH Regulation, cobalt metal and many cobalt compounds have been evaluated against the criteria set out in UN GHS rev. 8 (2019). Cobalt metal and cobalt compounds meet the criteria for classification for certain physical, human health and environmental hazards, either based on testing data for the individual substances, or by using a grouping and "read-across" approach.

The "self-classifications" agreed by the members of CI are shown in the table below (click to expand). N.B. In some jurisdictions globally (e.g. the European Union) it is a legal requirement to incorporate certain "harmonised" classifications over and above these self-classifications. Individual companies should assess the requirements for their products, and include relevant classifications in safety data sheets and on labels as appropriate.

UN GHS classification table 2019-04-01
Photo credit: GHS HazMat Safety Labels - Wikimedia Commons