Warning Signs (on Work Substances)

Hazardous substances subject to the Chemicals Act (Chemikaliengesetz), which does not apply to cosmetics, for example, have to be labelled as such. The danger symbol (i.e. a skull) combined with marking (i.e. T+) and the R(risk) statement (i.e. R 39/26) indicates the type and degree of danger emanating from the work substance. The following basic classification has been made: fire-promoting, flammable, slightly flammable, highly flammable, explosive, toxic to highly toxic, caustic, irritant, sensitizing, carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction, mutagenic, radioactive. The new European CLP Regulation (EC No. 1272/2008) stipulates Europe-wide harmonized classification, labelling and packaging of hazardous substances and mixtures. Frequently the new regime is also referred to as the GHS, the Globally Harmonised System. By 2015, after the transition period, all danger symbols will have to be changed over to the new regime, but the two systems will continue to co-exist for quite some time in the future (i.e. the old Act on Chemicals, and the new CLP Regulation). See also Marking of Work Substances and the GHS.