GHS Report
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USA - GHS Status

GHS Status

The US has implemented the Third revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS3) in the workplace through the revised Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) (HAZCOM) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2012. The GHS was adopted on 1 June 2015 for classification of substances and mixtures.

In February 2021 OSHA proposed to modify the Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM) to conform to the UN GHS Revision 7 to better align with other US agencies and international trading partners, without lowering overall protections of the standard. However, no official date for adaptation of GHS7 has been announced.


Local Adaptation of GHS

The following GHS categories are not implemented in the USA:

  • Chemicals under Pressure, all categories

  • Flammable Gas, Category 1A (Pyrophoric Gases)

  • Flammable Gas, Category 1A (Chemically Unstable Gases, all categories)

  • Flammable Gas, Category 1B

  • Aerosols, Category 3

  • Desensitized Explosives, all categories

  • Acute Toxicity, Category 5

  • Skin Corrosion/Irritation, Category 3

  • Aspiration Hazard, Category 2


GHS Labelling

Like many other countries, the US also has its own GHS labelling requirements. The requirements are set by Paragraph (f)(1) of the Hazard Communication Standard and allocation of label elements can be found in Appendix C of the Standard. A hazardous chemical is correctly labelled if the label includes the following in English:

  • Product identifier (the chemical name, code number, or batch number)

  • Signal word

  • Hazard statement(s)

  • Pictogram(s) in the shape of a square set at a point and shall include a black hazard symbol on a white background with a red frame sufficiently wide to be clearly visible

  • Precautionary statement(s) – (statements can be combined or unnecessary ones left out If necessary for the sake of readability and clear communication)

  • Name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.

There is no specified minimum size for the labels or pictograms in the US, but the text must be legible, sections separated, and elements must not overlap. Manufacturers or suppliers must put a GHS-compliant label on all primary chemical containers – in other words, the ones used for distribution.

The revised HAZCOM created a need to identify hazards not covered by the classes adopted from GHS or that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did not adopt (e.g. pyrophoric gases, simple asphyxiants, and combustible dust). Therefore, OSHA created the Hazard Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC) definition to cover health or physical hazards for which the standard lists a hazard class, but whose effect either falls below the cut-off value/concentration limit of the hazard class or is under a GHS hazard category that has not been adopted by OSHA. There are no harmonized label elements for HNOCs. Therefore, HNOCs need not be addressed on an HAZCOM label. No signal word or pictogram has been designated for HNOCs, so none should be assigned to an HNOC hazard. The label preparer may add supplemental information regarding HNOC hazards as long as it does not undermine or cast doubt on the required label information.


Safety Data Sheet

The Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers to provide standard 16-section GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) in English for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. The requirements for the SDSs are listed in Paragraph (g) of HAZCOM. Section 12-15 are not required by OSHA since those areas are not under their jurisdiction. They must, however, be included if the SDS is to be consistent with GHS. Hazards Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC) need to be disclosed in section 2 of the SDS but are not required on a label.


GHS in Work-Environment

GHS3 is implemented in the workplace since 2015 through the the revised Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) (HAZCOM). The HAZCOM Standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers. Furthermore, all employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.


GHS in Transport

National transport of dangerous goods in the US is regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (Title 49 CFR Parts 100-15). The regulations applicable to the transport of dangerous goods have been updated to reflect the 20th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.


GHS implementation status

Focal points

Department of Transportation (DOT): Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Transport of dangerous goods


For international transport of dangerous goods, see “Implementation through international legal instruments, recommendations, codes and guidelines”

National transport of dangerous goods is regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (Title 49 CFR Parts 100 -185). The regulations applicable to the transport of dangerous goods (Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations) have been updated to reflect the 20th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations (See the Final rule 85 FR 27810 of 11 May 2020).



On 26 March 2012 OSHA published the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in the Federal Register.

The revised HCS is in line with the third revised edition of the GHS. It became mandatory on 1 June 2015 after a transitional period of 3 years. OSHA is conducting rulemaking to harmonize the HCS to the latest edition of the GHS and to codify a number of enforcement policies that have been issued since the 2012 standard.

Additional information and guidance is available at OSHA's website


Main relevant legislation

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)

EPA has not adopted GHS for pesticide product classification and labeling.

Following implementation of the GHS by OSHA for the workplace and its implications for Safety Data Sheets, EPA issued a Pesticide Registration Notice ((PR) (Notice 2012-1) on 20 April 2012, to clarify its policy in order to avoid potential inconsistencies between EPA-approved labels for pesticides regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the SDSs that OSHA requires for these chemicals under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

Information on how GHS implementation in the GHS affects pesticide labelling can be found on the EPA website

Consumer products

Main relevant legislation

Consumer Product Safety Act

Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)

In 2007, CPSC compared selected portions of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) regulatory requirements to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for classification and labeling. This comparison identified some of the technical differences between the FHSA and GHS. A preliminary legal feasibility assessment was also conducted to assess what, if any, changes would be needed to the FHSA should certain provisions of the GHS be adopted and implemented. The staff work indicated that a more complete technical comparison was needed. In 2008, CPSC initiated a contract to complete a side-by side comparison of the FHSA and the GHS. This review was intended to determine which sections of the GHS could be considered for implementation, as well as whether statutory or regulatory changes would be necessary for eventual implementation.

No further information has been made available since then.