GHS precautionary statements

Last updated

Precautionary statements form part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). [1] They are intended to form a set of standardized phrases giving advice about the correct handling of chemical substances and mixtures, which can be translated into different languages. [2] [3] As such, they serve the same purpose as the well-known S-phrases, which they are intended to replace.


Precautionary statements are one of the key elements for the labelling of containers under the GHS, along with: [4]

Each precautionary statement is designated a code, starting with the letter P 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. [5] Some precautionary phrases are combinations, indicated by a plus sign "+". In several cases, there is a choice of wording, for example "Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray": the supplier or regulatory agency should choose the appropriate wording for the product concerned.

General precautionary statements

Note: "..." = to be specified

Prevention precautionary statements

Response precautionary statements

Storage precautionary statements

Disposal precautionary statements

Related Research Articles

Dishwasher Machine that washes dishes automatically

A dishwasher is a machine used to clean dishware, cookware and cutlery automatically. Unlike manual dishwashing, which relies heavily on physical scrubbing to remove soiling, the mechanical dishwasher cleans by spraying hot water, typically between 45 and 75 °C, at the dishes, with lower temperatures used for delicate items.

Toxicity Degree of harmfulness of substances

Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver (hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or society at large. Sometimes the word is more or less synonymous with poisoning in everyday usage.


A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching wood ashes, or a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. "Lye" most commonly refers to sodium hydroxide (NaOH), but historically has been used for potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Contact dermatitis Human disease

Contact dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin. Some symptoms of contact dermatitis can include itchy or dry skin, a red rash, bumps, blisters, and swelling. The rash is not contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable.

CR gas Chemical compound

CR gas or dibenzoxazepine, or its chemical name dibenz[b,f][1,4]oxazepine, is an incapacitating agent and a lachrymatory agent. CR was developed by the British Ministry of Defence as a riot control agent in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A report from the Porton Down laboratories described exposure as "like being thrown blindfolded into a bed of stinging nettles", and it earned the nickname "firegas".

Human decontamination is the process of removing hazardous materials from the human body, including chemicals, radioactive substances, and infectious material.

Chemical hazard Non-biological substance that has the potential to cause harm to life or health

A chemical hazard is a (non-biological) substance that has the potential to cause harm to life or health. Chemicals are widely used in the home and in many other places. Exposure to chemicals can cause acute or long-term detrimental health effects. There are many types of hazardous chemicals, including neurotoxins, immune agents, dermatologic agents, carcinogens, reproductive toxins, systemic toxins, asthmagens, pneumoconiotic agents, and sensitizers. In the workplace, exposure to chemical hazards is a type of occupational hazard. The use of protective personal equipment(PPE) may substantially reduce the risk of damage from contact with hazardous materials.

Tear gas Non-lethal chemical weapon

Tear gas, also known as a lachrymator agent or lachrymator, sometimes colloquially known as "mace" after an early commercial aerosol, is a chemical weapon that stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland in the eye to produce tears. In addition, it can cause severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and blindness. Common lachrymators both currently and formerly used as tear gas include pepper spray, PAVA spray (nonivamide), CS gas, CR gas, CN gas, bromoacetone, xylyl bromide and Mace.

Risk and Safety Statements, also known as R/S statements, R/S numbers, R/S phrases, and R/S sentences, is a system of hazard codes and phrases for labeling dangerous chemicals and compounds. The R/S statement of a compound consists of a risk part (R) and a safety part (S), each followed by a combination of numbers. Each number corresponds to a phrase. The phrase corresponding to the letter/number combination has the same meaning in different languages—see 'languages' in the menu on the left.

<i>p</i>-Xylene Chemical compound

p-Xylene (para-xylene) is an aromatic hydrocarbon. It is one of the three isomers of dimethylbenzene known collectively as xylenes. The p- stands for para-, indicating that the two methyl groups in p-xylene occupy the diametrically opposite substituent positions 1 and 4. It is in the positions of the two methyl groups, their arene substitution pattern, that it differs from the other isomers, o-xylene and m-xylene. All have the same chemical formula C6H4(CH3)2. All xylene isomers are colorless and highly flammable. The odor threshold of p-xylene is 0.62 parts per million (ppm).

Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis Medical condition

Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis is a type of allergic contact dermatitis caused by the oil urushiol found in various plants, most notably species of the genus Toxicodendron: poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and the Chinese lacquer tree. The name is derived from the Japanese word for the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree, urushi. Other plants in the sumac family also contain urushiol, as do unrelated plants such as Ginkgo biloba.

Hand sanitizer Alternative to hand washing

Hand sanitizer is a liquid, gel or foam generally used to kill many viruses/bacteria/microorganisms on the hands. In most settings, hand washing with soap and water is generally preferred. Hand sanitizer is less effective at killing certain kinds of germs, such as norovirus and Clostridium difficile, and unlike hand washing, it cannot physically remove harmful chemicals. People may incorrectly wipe off hand sanitizer before it has dried, and some are less effective because their alcohol concentrations are too low.

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals International standard managed by the United Nations

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is an internationally agreed-upon standard managed by the United Nations that was set up to replace the assortment of hazardous material classification and labelling schemes previously used around the world. Core elements of the GHS include standardized hazard testing criteria, universal warning pictograms, and harmonized safety data sheets which provide users of dangerous goods with a host of information. The system acts as a complement to the UN Numbered system of regulated hazardous material transport. Implementation is managed through the UN Secretariat. Although adoption has taken time, as of 2017, the system has been enacted to significant extents in most major countries of the world. This includes the European Union, which has implemented the United Nations' GHS into EU law as the CLP Regulation, and United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Potassium nitrate is an oxidizer so storing it near fire hazards or reducing agents should be avoided to minimise risk in case of a fire.

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. As such, they serve the same purpose as the well-known R-phrases, which they are intended to replace.

<i>Eriodictyon parryi</i> Species of plant

Eriodictyon parryi or poodle-dog bush is a tall California mountain shrub with showy purple flowers, which is notable for secreting a severe skin irritant. It is an opportunistic species that grows mostly in areas that have been disturbed by fire.

The safe handling of carcinogens is the handling of cancer causing substances in a safe and responsible manner. Carcinogens are defined as 'a substance or agent that can cause cells to become cancerous by altering their genetic structure so that they multiply continuously and become malignant'. The Australian NOHSC Definitions divides carcinogens into three categories. Category 1 carcinogens are substances known to be carcinogenic to humans. Category 2 carcinogens are substances that should be regarded as if they were carcinogenic to humans. Category 3 carcinogens are defined as substances that have possible carcinogenic effects in humans but about which there is insufficient information to make an assessment. Substances are most often categorised as category 1 carcinogens by epidemiological data and as category 2 or 3 carcinogens through the results of animal testing. Mixtures containing more than 0.1% of a category 1 or 2 carcinogen or more than 1% of a category 3 carcinogen must also be considered carcinogenic and be appropriately labelled. Many carcinogens are used in industry and everyday life, making the safe handling of carcinogens an important consideration.

Prevention of viral hemorrhagic fever

Prevention of viral hemorrhagic fever is similar for the different viruses. There are a number of different viral hemorrhagic fevers including Ebola virus disease, Lassa fever, Rift valley fever, Marburg virus disease, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and yellow fever. Lassa, Ebola, Marburg and CCHF can be spread by direct contact with the body fluids of those infected. Thus the content here covers the prevention of Ebola.

Hydrofluoric acid burn Medical condition

A hydrofluoric acid burn is a chemical burn from hydrofluoric acid. Where it contacts the skin it results in significant pain, swelling, redness, and skin breakdown. If the fumes are breathed in swelling of the upper airway and bleeding may occur. Complications can include electrolyte, heart, lung, kidney, and neurological problems.

Diving equipment may be exposed to contamination in use and when this happens it must be decontaminated. This is a particular issue for hazmat diving, but incidental contamination can occur in other environments. Personal diving equipment shared by more than one user requires disinfection before use. Shared use is common for expensive commercial diving equipment, and for rental recreational equipment, and some items such as demand valves, masks, helmets and snorkels which are worn over the face or held in the mouth are possible vectors for infection by a variety of pathogens. Diving suits are also likely to be contaminated, but less likely to transmit infection directly.


  1. "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals" (pdf). 2021. Annex 3: Codification of Statements and Pictograms (pp 268385).
  2. The United Nations has published the list of GHS precautionary 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.
  3. A list of translations into all the European Union official languages can be found in Annex IV to the CLP Regulation, on pages 210–324 of the official English-language version.
  4. Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2
  5. Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2