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Chemical Labeling Basics

Labeling items and products containing chemicals is tricky due to the corrosive nature of chemicals. After all, if a corrosive chemical drips on the label during use or through leakage, the label could become damaged. In addition to being able to withstand exposure to the chemicals themselves, chemical labels must contain specific warnings as well as be able to withstand long-term immersion in saltwater in case the item falls overboard at sea.

Chemical Labeling Requirements

Products containing harmful chemicals are subject to several chemical labeling requirements, regulations, or guidelines such as:

The Need for Chemical Labeling Requirements

These chemical labeling requirements are complex and often interrelated. For example, BS5609 certification is required of labels subject to GHS and IMDG requirements. Chemical labeling regulations were developed for many reasons including to protect lives and the environment. For example, imagine a chemical drum containing a harmful substance on a cargo ship. If that drum were clearly labeled with a warning depicting exactly how harmful its contents were, you probably wouldn't open it without taking appropriate precautions. That label could save your life! Now imagine that drum falling off the ship and its label disintegrating in seawater. Without the label, recovery divers or first responders would not know what's inside and be poorly equipped to take the appropriate precautions. Even worse, what if a curious recreational diver encounters the drum or if it washes ashore?

Who Needs to Comply with Chemical Labeling Requirements

Each country has its own set of guidelines and regulations covering chemical labeling with many adopting international GHS guidelines as a core component. For example, in the United States, several agencies, including OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency have specific chemical labeling requirements for items containing certain chemicals. In general, if you produce, distribute, import / export, or use potentially hazardous chemicals in the workplace, you may be subject to international and/or domestic chemical labeling rules or regulations.

What You Need to Print Your Own Chemical Labels

Fortunately, printing your own chemical labels is possible and easier than you may think. After determining the applicable chemical labeling requirements, you will be in a better position to choose a compliant solution. For example, if GHS label requirements specify the use of standardized pictograms. Thus, you will need label design software that supports the use of and includes the necessary pictograms. You will also need a GHS BS5609-compliant color label printer and BS5609-certified blank label stock.

Chemical Label Pigment Inkjet Printers

Each of the following pigment inkjet printers is GHS / BS5609 compliant:

Compare Primera, VIPColor, and NeuraLabel Chemical Label Printers

Chemical Label Laser Printers

Each of the following laser printers can print GHS/BS5609 compliant labels:

  • Primera CX1000, Primera CX1200
  • Afinia R635
  • iSys Edge 850, iSys Apex 1290
  • NeuraLog NeuraLabel 500e

Compare Primera CX1000, CX1200, Afinia R635, iSys Edge850 and NeuraLabel 500e

Chemical Label Stock

However, GHS / BS5609 compliant printers are just one part of the chemical labeling equation. You will also need BS5609-certified blank media to use with these label printers. BS5609-certified chemical labels have been tested and certified to withstand longterm immersion in saltwater. BS5609 certification covers both the label material's strength and durability as well as the label's adhesive properties. Plus, there are different types of BS5609-certified materials for each of the printers listed above. Labels for one printer will not necessarily work with another.

Argon Technology: Your Complete Resource for Chemical Labeling

Argon Technology carries everything you need to print your own GHS / BS5609-compliant chemical labels including a large selection of GHS chemical label printers, BS5609-certified chemical label stock, printing supplies and accessories, and more. Argon Technology deals with BS5609-compliant chemical labels for all the printers listed above. These labels are not interchangeable. Argon Technology specializes in manufacturing these labels for all of the GHS-compliant listed above or from all of the leading manufacturers.We can even make custom blank GHS / BS5609-certified labels to meet your specific size and shape requirements. Contact us today to learn more.