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Why the GHS is important for Public Health Joanna Tempowski Dept Public Health & Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Why the GHS is important for Public Health Joanna Tempowski Dept Public Health & Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why the GHS is important for Public Health Joanna Tempowski Dept Public Health & Environment

2 2 |2 |ObjectiveObjective Remind you about the health-related components of GHS Describe why and how the health sector can participate in GHS implementation

3 3 |3 |OutlineOutline Background How GHS benefits health WHO products relevant to GHS

4 4 |4 |BackgroundBackground Multiplicity of chemical products Chemical exposures cause loss of 7.2 million years of healthy life (DALYs) per annum (WHO 2002) Efforts to prevent and mitigate exposure can make important contribution to reducing disease burden

5 5 |5 |BackgroundBackground Continuing growth of chemicals industry emphasises need for preventive measures

6 Health-related components

7 7 |7 | GHS key components Classification of hazard –Standard criteria for classifying e.g. acute toxicity, reproductive toxicity Hazard communication –Standard language for telling user about the hazards Precautionary information –How to handle safely and deal with chemical spills and exposures

8 8 |8 | Label as information medium

9 9 |9 | Safety Data Sheet as information medium 1. Identification 2. Hazard(s) identification 3. Composition/information on ingredients 4. First-aid measures 5. Fire-fighting measures 6. Accidental release measures 7. Handling and storage 8. Exposure controls/personal protection 9. Physical and chemical properties 10. Stability and reactivity 11. Toxicological information 12. Ecological information 13. Disposal considerations 14. Transport information 15. Regulatory information 16. Other information.

10 Role of health sector

11 11 | Health sector has 2 roles User of GHS information Contributor to GHS implementation

12 12 | User of GHS information Health staff use chemical products e.g. –Nurses, doctors, operating theatre staff –Environmental health personnel/vector control –Pharmacists & laboratory technicians –Domestic staff Information needs e.g. –What are the hazards (might I be vulnerable?) –How to use the product safely (need for gloves, goggles?) –What to do if I get splashed with the product

13 13 | User of GHS information To treat people exposed to chemicals Information needed by: –Ambulance staff –Emergency dept staff –Primary care staff –Poisons centres Information needs: –What is the risk to the exposed person (ingredients & hazard)? Might there be a risk to the medical responder? –What treatment is needed, how urgently

14 14 | As contributor to GHS implementation Health sector is source of data on exposures –How exposures occurred –What are the toxic effects – are these adequately reflected? Data can indicate a need to modify implementation –Building block approach means that some components might not be used –Human experience may suggest that additional components should be implemented

15 15 | As contributor to GHS implementation Advocate for precautionary information to be included in national implementation Ensure that precautionary information on labels and SDS is correct –e.g. study in Finland found that 20% of first aid instructions on SDS were inadequate or wrong

16 16 | As contributor to GHS implementation Packaging important in exposure prevention Not part of GHS but can be linked to GHS classification –e.g. in EU child-resistant closures needed if product classified as acute toxicity 1-3 Health data can inform need

17 17 | Special role for poisons centres Maintain product databases –Collections of SDS and other information –GHS implementation could include requirement for this information to be supplied to poisons centre Centralised collection of data about human exposures –may assist in the classification of hazard Centre of expertise about toxic effects of chemicals and treatment of exposure

18 WHO products relevant to GHS

19 19 | WHO support for GHS implementation WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs)

20 20 | WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard Published since 1975 Updated periodically Wide international acceptance Used as basis for national pesticide regulation

21 21 | WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard Uses peer-reviewed WHO reports e.g. JMPR Based primarily on acute oral or acute dermal toxicity data –LD 50 values Some classifications adjusted for other particularly hazardous effects, –e.g. carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity Indicates pesticides regulated by international conventions –Rotterdam Convention (Prior Informed Consent) –Stockholm Convention (POPs)

22 22 | WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard Five Hazard Classes –Extremely hazardous (Class Ia ) –Highly hazardous (Class Ib ) –Moderately hazardous (Class II ) –Slightly hazardous (Class III ) –Unlikely to present acute hazard (Class U)

23 23 | WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard Classification criteria aligned with GHS acute toxicity criteria (i.e. LD 50 values) –Class Ia & Ib equivalent to GHS categories 1 & 2 –Class II equivalent to GHS categories 3 & 4 Adjusted classifications for other severe hazards will be retained GHS acute toxicity hazard category (oral) is given in the publication

24 24 | International Chemical Safety Cards WHO and ILO joint programme Promote safe use of chemicals at work Provide hazard and precautionary information Use standard phrases taken from a Compiler's Guide

25 25 | International Chemical Safety Cards Peer-reviewed GHS classification of individual chemicals GHS hazard symbols, signal words, hazard statements shown on Cards

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28 28 | International Chemical Safety Cards Work underway to align GHS and Compiler's Guide New ILO database by 2011

29 29 | ConclusionsConclusions Chemical products bring benefits but may also harm human health GHS provides tools to protect health by informing users GHS information is an important resource for health sector Health sector can also contribute to GHS information Health sector should be included in national discussions about GHS implementation


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