The goal of the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals is to communicate the inherent hazards of pesticide chemicals. Noelene Odendaal, regulatory manager at AECI Plant Health, explains GHS and what it means.
According to Odendaal, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has been pushing for the harmonisation of the classification and labelling of chemicals. This is so all chemicals have a global hazard classification, matched by labels that leave no room for ambiguous interpretations regarding the chemicals.
“That means if a pesticide, for example, is classified as acutely toxic in a specific country and has a corresponding label somewhere else, that pesticide must have the same hazard classification and corresponding label in South Africa,” Odendaal says.
Education is key
Furthermore, Odendaal shares some of the latest developments in policy and legal requirements when it comes to GHS, the deadline for compliance, and why all products have to be labelled under the new GHS system.
Odendaal says training on the new system will take place on different levels, throughout the chain.
“Meaning that even on the farm level the farmworker needs to be informed about the hazards of every chemical he is exposed to,” Odendaal says.
In this episode, Odendaal also discusses:
- What happened to the well-known colour bands;
- Safety for workers and more.
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