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Application of the GHS to the Hazard Characteristics of Wastes in the Basel Convention: Challenges & Schemes GHS Stocktaking Workshop For Southeast, East.

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Presentation on theme: "Application of the GHS to the Hazard Characteristics of Wastes in the Basel Convention: Challenges & Schemes GHS Stocktaking Workshop For Southeast, East."— Presentation transcript:

1 Application of the GHS to the Hazard Characteristics of Wastes in the Basel Convention: Challenges & Schemes GHS Stocktaking Workshop For Southeast, East and Central Asia September 2010 Beijing, People’s Republic of China Peter J. Peterson UNITAR

2 The overall goal is to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects that may result from the generation, transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous waste and other wastes; Hazardous waste not defined under ‘Definitions’ Article 2; Hazardous waste declared in Article I to be: ‘1(a) Wastes that belong to any category contained in Annex I, unless they do not possess any of the characteristics contained in Annex III; and 1(b) wastes that are not covered under paragraph (a) but are defined as, or are considered to be, hazardous wastes by the domestic legislation of the Party of export, import or transit’ Basel Convention

3 Applies internationally agreed science-based hazard criteria and hazard information tools to wastes; Improves capabilities for managing both chemicals and hazardous wastes using one systematic method; Establishes partnerships involving all stakeholders in developing regulatory policies for chemicals and waste; Enables greater consistency in international treaties and national regulatory requirements covering the entire product chain; Contributes to strengthening global advocacy principles for sound management of chemicals and waste thus protecting human health and environment. GHS and the Basel Convention: opportunities for collaboration

4 Components of GHS, including labelling systems, easily understandable symbols, and SDS are highly relevant to the Basel Convention; Article 4.7 (b), of the Convention states, each Party shall: ‘Require that hazardous waste and other wastes that are to be the subject of transboundary movement be packaged, labelled, and transported in conformity with generally accepted and recognized international rules and standards in the field of packaging, labelling, and transport and that due account is taken of relevant international recognized practices’. Relevance of GHS to Basel Convention

5 Relevance of GHS to Basel The Basel Convention hazard characteristics system is based on the physical hazards and acute toxicity classes established by the UNRTDG, 1988 Edition, and forms the basis for the Convention’s Annex III ‘List of Hazard Characteristics’; Detailed waste lists have been classified by the Convention. Wastes hazardous under Article I are listed under Annex VIII (List A1-A4), whereas wastes not containing Annex I materials are listed in Annex IX (List B1- B4); The framework of the GHS hazard communication system can be used as a foundation for an internationally harmonized waste classification scheme, although GHS was not designed to assess hazardous waste; Wastes can be considered as substances or mixtures under the GHS dependant upon their composition; 5

6 Relevance of GHS to Basel The GHS hazard classes include: 16 physical and 10 health hazards and 2 environmental hazards. Basel Annex III list of hazard characteristics, includes: 14 codes that includes physical, human health and environmental characteristics within one list. [Two of these criteria are not within GHS, e.g. infectious substances (H6.2) and wastes that may release another material after disposal (H13).] Consequently a number of GHS physical and health hazards are not included within the Basel Codes; A Joint Correspondence Group, established between the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Convention and UNSCEGHS, represents a major harmonizing and reporting approach towards agreement on the hazard characteristics of Annex III wastes following GHS criteria. Consensus requires agreement of COP. 6

7 GHS example Criteria for defining Annex III hazard characteristics for Basel Code 10 Annex III ‘Tests’ mentions ‘that the potential hazards posed by certain types of wastes are not yet fully documented’; Annex III hazardous characteristics of Basel Code H10: ‘Liberation of toxic gases in contact with air or water Substances or wastes, which, by interaction with air or water, are liable to give off toxic gases in dangerous quantities’ The most likely exposure of humans to such toxic gases causing harm (death or serious injury) from acute exposure is via the inhalation pathway, or, skin contact, or if swallowed (characteristics Code H6.1) ; or involving delayed or chronic effects, including carcinogenicity (characteristics Code H11). 7

8 GHS example Assessment strategy for determining hazardous properties of Code H10 wastes: Step 1: Has the waste been evaluated and included in detailed list of substances in Annexes VIII or IX? Step 2: If the material is not a substance described in Annexes VIII or IX, analytical steps are required to estimate whether the concentration exceeds a limit value (e.g. 0.5% w/w). If so it can be classified as H10 waste. Step 3: If the composition of the waste is unknown, tests are required to determine its composition. This strategy is illustrated diagrammatically (next slide) 8

9 GHS applied to Basel H10 Waste Known Data on composition Unknown Check composition with list of known H10 substances and their concentration Determine history of waste Not H10 suspect Concentration > limiting concentration : label as H10 waste Concentration unknown: test and check with limiting concentration 1. Reactivity: cyanide, HCl and H2S release capacity 2. Presence of specific H10 substances 3. Capacity for releasing other toxic gases after contact with air/water Not H10 suspect Composition tests H10 Suspect

10 GHS example Single substance exposure: hazard classes for Code H11 H11 hazard characteristics: ‘Toxic (delayed or chronic) Substances or wastes which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may involve delayed or chronic effects, including carcinogenicity.’ Potential adverse health effects of H11 chemicals are broad and complex. GHS supports the use of ‘expert judgement’ that may be required for interpretation of hazard classification of substances; Four possible health effects (next slide); Chemicals within a class classified into 1 of 2 categories: Category 1: significant toxicity at low exposure concentration, Category 2: potential for toxicity at moderate exposure, Carcinogens and reproductive toxicants are subdivided into Category 1A human and Category 1B animal evidence. 10

11 GHS hazard classes: H11 H11 TOST Single exposure TOST repeat exposure Carcinogenicity Reproductive toxicity Potential adverse health effects Category 1 Category 2 Category 1 Category 2 Category 1A, B Category 2 Category 1A, B Category 2 < 1.0% < 10% < 1.0 % < 10% < 0.1% < 1.0% < 0.1 < 3.0% Basel de minimus

12 H11: 1 of 4 potential health effects 12 Target organ systemic toxicity (TOST): single/repeated exposure; single substance: Illustrating pictogram, signal word and hazard statement, category 1 and 2. Category 3 not required as the de minimus chemical concentration below which Basel waste does not express H11 categories, is based on category 2.

13 GHS & trade For transporters/carriers/shippers of waste subject to the Basel Convention it is expected that the current UNRTDG requirements will be followed displaying the accepted UN Code and hazard communication symbols which are in line with those of the GHS; For monitoring and control of international trade in chemical substances, most countries have adopted the World Customs Organization (WCO) Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (the ‘Harmonized System’); The Harmonized System Committee has been correlating the products covered by chemical MEAs 13

14 GHS & trade The Basel Convention and the WCO have for some years been correlating the Convention’s hazardous substances with the WCO Harmonized System, currently in its third phase; Categories of products described by Convention Annexes VIII and IX have been listed in Correlation Tables with the six digit hazardous substances code for wastes B-I and B-II (i.e. Annex VIII List A and Annex IX List B of the Convention respectively; Efforts by the Convention OEWG to include GHS into the hazardous substances lists are ongoing 14

15 Conclusions The GHS provides internationally agreed science-based criteria that assist in the classification of chemicals and hazardous wastes throughout the product chain, leading to harmonization of classification of such substances within MEAs, including Basel; Application of GHS criteria to transport of wastes, and coding at ports of entry, helps protect human health and also assists in the setting of appropriate transboundary tariffs; The GHS assists in the adoption of safety standards for management of wastes in an environmentally sound manner More research is required to strengthen the framework for application of GHS to the classification of wastes, including reporting to OEWG and adoption of conclusions by the Basel COP; Adoption of the GHS system will help strengthen management of wastes by the Basel Convention. 15

16 Thank you!


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