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Globally harmonized System Chemical Labels

GHS Chemical Labels


By Timmy Thermal


Hey there, are you in manufacturing? Do you work with pipelines, storage tanks, railroad tankers, feed hoppers, or any sort of hazardous materials? Well, if you do, you’re required by law to label them according to a very specific system. Lucky for you, here at MIDCOM, we can spell it out so that you’re in compliance.


Globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals, or otherwise known as GHS, is a international labeling standard and regulation for the identification of hazardous chemicals and materials. GHS labeling is crucial because it serves several important functions.

First, it helps to keep health a priority when dealing with possible hazardous chemicals by clearly marking chemicals. Second, it helps classify chemicals, by making a standard of hazard criteria definitions. Third, it sends a message containing the information about the chemicals which can act as a precaution warning.

Here is what they can look like. There are four squares in a diamond, each with their own number, from 0 to 4.0 stands for “no hazard,” while 4 is the most hazardous. The red signifies flammability, blue signifies risks for health, and yellow signifies reactivity, and white signifies any special warnings. They may also simply be a red diamond with a symbol in the middle. Compliance can be different depending on where your chemicals or going. For chemicals not being moved through an international waterway, you should pick from pre-tested thermal transfer labels and ribbon combos depending on the chemical being labeled. If you are transporting it through an international waterway, they must be classified as International Maritime dangerous goods, or IMDG compliant labels.


Chemicals will utilize an IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) for compliant label; British 5609 that is the Marine Immersion Label testing part of this certification. It outlines necessities for pressure-sensitive labels on chemicals being transported over the ocean.

Some custom thermal label printers offer SB 5609 certified thermal labels and ribbons to be used in 2-color thermal printers.


Keep us in mind if you’re in need of labels, and if you’re in manufacturing, you may benefit from our free new Ebook. You can call us at (800) 643-2664 and let us know what kind of printer repair service you can use! We service thermal printers from zebra technologies, intermec, datamax oneil and more. If you’re interested in more tips, service package reviews, and educational information like this one, make sure to follow us on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn!


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