GHS hazard statements

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.[1][2] As such, they serve the same purpose as the well-known R-phrases, which they are intended to replace.

Hazard statements are one of the key elements for the labelling of containers under the GHS, along with:[3]

Each hazard statement is designated a code, starting with the letter H 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.[4]

Physical hazards

Health hazards

Environmental hazards

Country-specific hazard statements

European Union

The European Union has implemented the GHS through the CLP Regulation. Nevertheless, the older system based on the Dangerous Substances Directive will continue to be used in parallel until 2016. Some R-phrases which do not have simple equivalents under the GHS have been retained under the CLP Regulation:[5] the numbering mirrors the number of the previous R-phrase.

Physical properties

Health properties

Environmental properties

Other EU hazard statements

Some other hazard statements intended for use in very specific circumstances have also been retained under the CLP Regulation.[6] Note that, in this case, the numbering of the EU specific hazard statements can coincide with GHS hazard statements if the "EU" prefix is not included.


The GHS was adopted in Australia from 1 January 2012 and becomes mandatory in States and Territories that have adopted the harmonised Work Health and Safety laws (other than Victoria and Western Australia) as of 1 January 2017.[7] The National Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals [8] includes 12 Australian-specific GHS Hazard Statements, as follows:

Physical hazard statements

Human health hazard statements

Additional non-GHS hazard statements

New Zealand

As of March 2009, the relevant New Zealand regulations under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 do not specify the exact wording required for hazard statements. However, the New Zealand classification system includes three categories of environmental hazard which are not included in the GHS Rev.2:

These are classes 9.2–9.4 respectively of the New Zealand classification scheme, and are divided into subclasses according to the degree of hazard.[9] Substances in subclass 9.2D ("Substances that are slightly harmful in the soil environment") do not require a hazard statement, while substances in the other subclasses require an indication of the general degree of hazard and general type of hazard.[10]


  1. The United Nations has published the list of GHS hazard 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.
  2. A list of translations into all the European Union official languages can be found in Annex III to the CLP Regulation, on pages 146–91 of the official English-language version for the GHS statements and pages 192–209 for the EU-specific statements.
  3. Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2
  4. Part 1, section, GHS Rev.2
  5. Annex III, CLP Regulation, pp. 192–200.
  6. Annex III, CLP Regulation, pp. 200–9.
  9. Schedule 6, Hazardous Substances (Classification) Regulations 2001
  10. reg. 20, Hazardous Substances (Identification) Regulations 2001


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