FAQs on GHS Pictograms

What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

The GHS is an initiative by the United Nations aiming to harmonize chemical hazard communication. This includes harmonized criteria for classification of substances and mixtures according to their physical, health, and environmental hazards, as well as harmonized hazard communication elements.

The first version of GHS was published in 2003 and updated each 2 years since.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

Has the chemical composition of reagents changed?

No, GHS will not lead to any change in the chemical composition of our products. Therefore, the hazard potential remains unchanged. Only the look of our labels and packaging will be affected.


Have any changes to reagents occurred that could affect the intended use of the kit?

No, GHS will not lead to any change in the intended use of our products. Only the look of our labels and packaging will be affected.


What are the main elements of a GHS label?

GHS is based on 16 physical, 10 health, and 3 environmental classes of hazard. These hazards are communicated by the combination of a pictogram, signal word, and statements of the hazard and the precaution to be taken.


Requirements of label
Required Description
Pictograms GHS implemented 9 hazard pictograms
Signal word "Danger" or "Warning"
Hazard statements

A statement assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical,
including the degree of hazard (where appropriate)

Precautionary statements A phrase that describes recommended measures to be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from
exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling of a hazardous chemical
Which products are affected from the change?

Only labels for components that are classified under GHS as hazardous materials will be affected.


How is QIAGEN informing customers?

Before shipping the first GHS-labeled products, QIAGEN will begin including in each despatched kit box the Important Note (see GHS Labeling below) giving an overview of the coming changes due to GHS.

I'm working in a lab. What must I do?

The new GHS regulation implies you must:

  • Inform and train your staff
  • Apply the new labeling to your own mixtures
  • Update workplace safety guidelines and other documentation

See the information below and visit the United Nations webpage (see External Links below) for more information.