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Hazard Statements (H-Statements)

Definition

Hazard Statements (H-Statments) are part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Hazard statements provide standardized wording to indicate the hazards of a product including, when appropriate, the degree of the hazard.

The GHS also has Precaution Statements which provide standardized precaution wordings. You will usually find both P- and H-statements on a label or Safety Data Sheet.

In the European Union, H-statements have replaced Risk phrases (R-phrases) with the adoption of the GHS under Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (20 MB PDF file). Conversions of R-phrases to H-statements are listed in Annex 7 of that document.

Additional Info

Hazard statements are assigned a unique numerical code which can be used as a handy reference when translating labels and Safety Data Sheets written in other languages. The codes are not a substitute for writing out the entire text of the statement.

The codes have the form Hnxx where H stands for "hazard statement"; n=2 for physical hazards, n=3 for health hazards, and n=4 for environmental hazards; and xx is a sequential numbering scheme.

Thus, an SDS or label might bear a statement such as "May be corrosive to metals (H290)". H indicates a Hazard, the 2 indicates a physical hazard, and 90 is part of the numbering scheme.

Hazard Statement Codes for Physical Hazards

CodePhysical hazard statementHazard Class (GHS Chapter)Hazard Category
H200Unstable explosiveExplosives (chapter 2.1)Unstable explosive
H201Explosive; mass explosive hazardExplosives (chapter 2.1)Division 1.1
H202Explosive; severe projection hazardExplosives (chapter 2.1)Division 1.2
H203Explosive; fire, blast or projection hazardExplosives (chapter 2.1)Division 1.3
H204Fire or projection hazardExplosives (chapter 2.1)Division 1.4
H205May mass explode in fireExplosives (chapter 2.1)Division 1.5
H220Extremely flammable gasFlammable gases (chapter 2.2)1
H221Flammable gasFlammable gases (chapter 2.2)2
H222Extremely flammable aerosolFlammable aerosols (chapter 2.3)1
H223Flammable aerosolFlammable aerosols (chapter 2.3)2
H224Extremely flammable liquid and vapourFlammable liquids (chapter 2.6)1
H225Highly flammable liquid and vapourFlammable liquids (chapter 2.6)2
H226Flammable liquid and vapourFlammable liquids (chapter 2.6)3
H227Combustible liquidFlammable liquids (chapter 2.6)4
H228Flammable solidFlammable solids (chapter 2.7)1, 2
H240Heating may cause an explosionSelf-reactive substances and mixtures (chapter 2.8); and Organic peroxides (chapter 2.15)Type A
H241Heating may cause a fire or explosionSelf-reactive substances and mixtures (chapter 2.8); and Organic peroxides (chapter 2.15)Type B
H242Heating may cause a fireSelf-reactive substances and mixtures (chapter 2.8); and Organic peroxides (chapter 2.15)Types C, D, E, F
H250Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to airPyrophoric liquids (chapter 2.9); Pyrophoric solids (chapter 2.10)1
H251Self-heating;; may catch fireSelf-heating; substances and mixtures (chapter 2.11)1
H252Self-heating; in large quantities; may catch fireSelf-heating; substances and mixtures (chapter 2.11)2
H260In contact with water releases flammable gases which may ignite spontaneouslySubstances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases (chapter 2.12)1
H261In contact with water releases flammable gasSubstances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases (chapter 2.12)2, 3
H270May cause or intensify fire; oxidizerOxidizing gases (chapter 2.4)1
H271May cause fire or explosion; strong oxidizerOxidizing liquids (chapter 2.13); Oxidizing solids (chapter 2.14)1
H272May intensify fire; oxidizerOxidizing liquids (chapter 2.13); Oxidizing solids (chapter 2.14)2, 3
H280Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heatedGases under pressure (chapter 2.5)Compressed gas
Liquefied gas
Dissolved gas
H281Contains refrigerated gas; may cause cryogenic burns or injuryGases under pressure (chapter 2.5)Refrigerated liquefied gas
H290May be corrosive to metalsCorrosive to metals (chapter 2.16)1
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Hazard Statement Codes for Health Hazards

CodeHealth hazard statementHazard Class (GHS Chapter)Hazard Category
H300Fatal if swallowedAcute toxicity, oral (chapter 3.1)1, 2
H301Toxic if swallowedAcute toxicity, oral (chapter 3.1)3
H302Harmful if swallowedAcute toxicity, oral (chapter 3.1)4
H303May be harmful if swallowedAcute toxicity, oral (chapter 3.1)5
H304May be fatal if swallowed and enters airwaysAspiration hazard (chapter 3.10)1
H305May be harmful if swallowed and enters airwaysAspiration hazard (chapter 3.10)2
H310Fatal in contact with skinAcute toxicity, dermal (chapter 3.1)1, 2
H311Toxic in contact with skinAcute toxicity, dermal (chapter 3.1)3
H312Harmful in contact with skinAcute toxicity, dermal (chapter 3.1)4
H313May be harmful in contact with skinAcute toxicity, dermal (chapter 3.1)5
H314Causes severe skin burns and eye damageSkin corrosion/irritation (chapter 3.2)1A, 1B, 1C
H315Causes skin irritationSkin corrosion/irritation (chapter 3.2)2
H316Causes mild skin irritationSkin corrosion/irritation (chapter 3.2)3
H317May cause an allergic skin reactionSensitization, skin (chapter 3.4)1
H318Causes serious eye damageSerious eye damage/eye irritation (chapter 3.3)1
H319Causes serious eye irritationSerious eye damage/eye irritation (chapter 3.3)2A
H320Causes eye irritationSerious eye damage/eye irritation (chapter 3.3)2B
H330Fatal if inhaledAcute toxicity, inhalation (chapter 3.1)1, 2
H331Toxic if inhaledAcute toxicity, inhalation (chapter 3.1)3
H332Harmful if inhaledAcute toxicity, inhalation (chapter 3.1)4
H333May be harmful if inhaledAcute toxicity, inhalation (chapter 3.1)5
H334May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled Sensitization, respiratory (chapter 3.4)1
H335May cause respiratory irritationSpecific target organ toxicity, single exposure; Respiratory tract irritation (chapter 3.8)3
H336May cause drowsiness or dizziness Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; Narcotic effects (chapter 3.8)3
H340May cause genetic defects (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Germ cell mutagenicity (chapter 3.5)1A, 1B
H341Suspected of causing genetic defects (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Germ cell mutagenicity (chapter 3.5)2
H350May cause cancer (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Carcinogenicity (chapter 3.6)1A, 1B
H351Suspected of causing cancer (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Carcinogenicity (chapter 3.6)2
H360May damage fertility or the unborn child (state specific effect if known)(state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Reproductive toxicity (chapter 3.7)1A, 1B
H361Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child (state specific effect if known)(state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Reproductive toxicity (chapter 3.7)2
H362May cause harm to breast-fed childrenReproductive toxicity, effects on or via lactation (chapter 3.7)Additional category
H370Causes damage to organs (or state all organs affected, if known) (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure (chapter 3.8)1
H371May cause damage to organs (or state all organs affected, if known)(state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure (chapter 3.8)2
H372Causes damage to organs (state all organs affected, if known) through prolonged or repeated exposure (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard) Specific target organ toxicity, repeated exposure (chapter 3.9)1
H373May cause damage to organs (state all organs affected, if known) through prolonged or repeated exposure (state route of exposure if it is conclusively proven that no other routes of exposure cause the hazard)Specific target organ toxicity, repeated exposure (chapter 3.9)2
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Hazard Statement Codes for Environmental Hazards

CodeEnvironmental hazard statementHazard Class (GHS Chapter)Hazard Category
H400Very toxic to aquatic lifeHazardous to the aquatic environment, acute toxicity (chapter 4.1)1
H401Toxic to aquatic lifeHazardous to the aquatic environment, acute toxicity (chapter 4.1)2
H402Harmful to aquatic lifeHazardous to the aquatic environment, acute toxicity (chapter 4.1)3
H410Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effectsHazardous to the aquatic environment, chronic toxicity (chapter 4.1)1
H411Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effectsHazardous to the aquatic environment, chronic toxicity (chapter 4.1)2
H412Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effectsHazardous to the aquatic environment, chronic toxicity (chapter 4.1)3
H413May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life Hazardous to the aquatic environment, chronic toxicity (chapter 4.1)4
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SDS Relevance

The US, Europe, and numerous other countries have adopted the Globally Harmonized System, which requires manufacturers and importers of potentially hazardous chemicals to perform a hazard classification of the materials they sell or import.

If that process, required under Paragraph (d) of 29 CFR 1910.1200, the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), indicates a potential hazard, it must be disclosed by both H- and P-statements (if necessary) on both the Safety Data Sheet (see paragraph (g)) and the label (see paragraph (f)).

Per Appendix D of HCS 2012, the H- and P-statements will appear in Section 2 of the SDS. Note: If a sheet was issued before the HCS 2012 took full effect the (M)SDS may not only be in a different format, it may not contain these statements. If you have a sheet like this in your collection you should attempt to find a current version. Remember that H-statements indicate only the hazards of a material, not the safety precautions that you need to follow. For safety information see the Precaution Statements entry.

This section discusses SDS relevance, but the importance of H- and P-statements on labels is paramount so we will address that here. Per paragraph C.2.2 of Appendix C of HCS 2012, the H-statements will appear on on the label, possibly in a condensed form, unless they are deemed inappropriate:

C.2.2.1

The text of all applicable hazard statements shall appear on the label, except as otherwise specified. The information in italics shall be included as part of the hazard statement as provided. For example: "causes damage to organs (state all organs affected) through prolonged or repeated exposure (state route of exposure if no other routes of exposure cause the hazard)". Hazard statements may be combined where appropriate to reduce the information on the label and improve readability, as long as all of the hazards are conveyed as required.

Further Reading

See also: ANSI, CHIP, EINECS, Precautionary Statements, risk phrases, signal words, UN/NA numbers, and the International Section of the SDS FAQ.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.



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