Communication in the supply chain

To ensure safe handling of hazardous substances, information on the hazards and risks of substances, mixtures and products must be disclosed in the supply chain. The REACH and CLP regulations define the safety data sheet (SDS) and the label as means of communication. The safety data sheet provides information on hazards arising from a product, appropriate handling measures and, in the case of extended SDSs (eSDSs), descriptions and measures to control risks. The label also contains hazard information and measures for safe handling, but, in contrast to the SDS, in a concise manner that can be quickly grasped by the user.

In addition to SDSs and identification labels, other documents may also be relevant for communication purposes, e.g. operating instructions, instructions for use or the data sheets prescribed under the Detergents Regulation.

The person who places a product on the market is responsible for preparing and updating the documents and for passing them on in the supply chain. In addition to communication in the supply chain, information must also be passed on to authorities or poison control centres. For example, there are reporting requirements for hazardous mixtures and detergents in the individual EU Member States.