Comprehensive changes aimed at strengthening hazard communication and safety measures.
In a significant stride towards bolstering chemical safety and hazard communication, Brazil has been gearing up for the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Globally harmonized system of classification and labelling chemicals (GHS) revision 7.
On July 3rd, 2023, The Brazil Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) formally launched the updated national standard on GHS classification, safety data sheets (SDS) and labelling – (ABNT NBR 14725:2023 Chemicals — Information about safety, health, and environment — General aspects of Globally Harmonized System (GHS), classification, SDS and labelling of chemicals)). Aligned with the 7th revision of the UN GHS, the standard is set to come into effect starting July 3rd, 2023, with a two-year transitional period ending on July 4th, 2025, when all SDSs must comply with new requirements. The Transition period aims to providing industries and stakeholders ample time to adjust to the new standard, ensuring a smooth and gradual transition. It is worthy of noting that during the transition it is acceptable to comply with previous regulations that follow GHS 3rd Revision or the updated GHS 7th revision. During this period, businesses can align their practices with the updated guidelines, emphasizing a phased approach to compliance.
ABNT NBR 14725:2023 signifies a significant leap for Brazil in establishing comprehensive guidelines for GHS implementation, covering vital aspects such as hazard communication, classification, and labeling of chemicals. The standard’s adoption of the 7th revision of the UN GHS reflects Brazil’s commitment to staying current with global advancements in chemical safety. This commitment aims to enhance transparency, facilitate trade, and promote a universal approach to hazard communication.
Key Facets of the Brazil GHS revision 7 Update:
- Labeling Standards: The revised system introduces standardized labeling requirements, utilizing clear symbols, pictograms, and hazard statements to enhance the accessibility of information on chemical products and swiftly communicate potential risks. The revised labelling standards have witnessed a significant change with some new rules including but not limited to:
- New provisions of labeling such as fold out labels, blister packs or immediate packaging.
- An innovative addition is the option to include a QR code on the chemical product labels for quick access to the SDS.
- Comprehensive Mixture Information: Revision 7 places heightened importance on providing thorough information on mixtures, offering precise guidelines for determining their hazards. This ensures end-users have access to accurate data regarding the potential risks associated with combined chemical products.
- Updated Safety Data Sheets (SDS): The GHS Revision 7 mandates a refresh of Safety Data Sheets, delivering detailed insights into the properties, hazards, and safe usage of chemicals. This serves as a critical resource for employers, workers, and emergency responders handling chemical substances. The Safety Data Sheet document, formerly known as FISPQ in Portuguese, will now be called “Ficha com Dados de Segurança” (FDS) to align with the global standard. Safety Data Sheets Have undergone substantial changes including but not limited to:
- Requiring a local emergency phone number 24/7 under Section 1
- Specific details for solids, including size and shape under Section 9
- The modification of hazard and precautionary phrases is notable, reflecting a focus on clarity and comprehension.
- Annex J introduces the GHS comprehensibility testing methodology.
- Focus on Training and Education: In tandem with the implementation of GHS Revision 7, there is a renewed focus on training and education initiatives. These programs aim to equip workers and stakeholders with the requisite knowledge and skills to handle chemicals safely, reducing accidents and fostering a secure work environment.
Classification Updates: A Closer Look at Hazard Classes
Some nuanced changes in classification criteria. Notable updates include:
- Physical Hazard Class Expansion: Introduction of “Desensitized Explosives” with new hazard statements, and an extension of the physical hazard class for “Flammable Gases” to include Category 1A and 1B. “Pyrophoric gases” and “Chemically unstable gases” are now grouped under “Flammable Gases Category 1A.”
- Environmental Hazard Class Inclusion: Addition of “Hazardous to the Ozone Layer” under the environmental hazard class.
- Changes to Aerosol Classifications: Under GHS 3 aerosols were classified as “Flammable aerosol” 1 or 2 along with the compressed gas and there was no aerosol 3 category. Now these classifications are replaced by “Aerosol” 1, 2, and 3. The compressed gas classification need not be applied to aerosol products now which means that the compressed gas pictogram is no longer required.
Recommended Action Items:
Considering these changes, companies are urged to:
- Review and update safety data sheets according to the revised standard by July 4, 2025, the Final deadline.
- Familiarize themselves with the structural changes and nomenclature updates introduced by ABNT NBR 14725:2023.
- Ensure compliance with the new classification criteria, labeling rules, and safety data sheet content requirements.
As Brazil pioneers a more robust and globally aligned chemical safety framework, the guidance of regulatory specialists becomes invaluable for businesses navigating this transformative landscape.
Contact us and get a quote today to ensure you Brazil safety documents are up to date and compliant.