The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classifying and labelling chemicals presents material hazard information in a 16-section user-friendly data sheet.
The UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) addresses the real danger for human health and the environment in the production, handling, transport and use of the great variety of chemicals in available on earth today. The system has undergone a number of revisions since 2005 (as of 2015 we are at revision 6). The system requires that material safety data be presented in a consistent user-friendly, 16-section format.
While the processed minerals and ceramic materials used in ceramics are not really 'chemicals' in the sense that we normally think, many materials do present very real dangers and are thus regulated. The GHS system is being adopted by many countries. Canada has aligned its WHMIS (Workers Hazardous Material Information System) with GHS based on the federal legislation – the amended Hazardous Products Act and the new Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). In the US, OSHA enforces the Hazard Communication Standard, it requires providing SDS (Safety Data Sheets) which align with GHS (however they are not enforcing the content of sections 12 through 15).
Respirable Crystalline Silica
The breathing of respirable quartz particles is a hazard in ceramic ware manufacture and hobby. These particles are of a size that can catch deep in the air sacks of the lungs.
OSHA GHS Data Sheet Overview
WHMIS Safety Data Sheet Overview
UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals