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GHS Flammability Ratings for Aerosols

Aerosol GHS Flammability Ratings

Back in 2015, GHS (Globally Harmonized System) implemented a whole new set of criteria on labeling formats and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for flammable and hazardous products. The new regulations have deemed nearly all aerosols flammable thus forcing the entire industry to update labeling information for all products.

Determining aerosol flammability ratings has always been, and still is a source of confusion. The previous test to determine this was called the Aerosol Flame Projection test which provided a true assessment of the hazards and necessary warnings. The newer GHS protocols replaced this methodology with a mathe­matical calculation that bears little to no relationship to the aerosol product’s actual flammability level. After performing those calculations for our formulations, findings revealed that mostly every Slide aerosol requires a flammable warning on the SDS and label.

GHS classifications are organized by hazard class (application) and a category (severity). The classes include physical, health, and environmental.

Here’s a simplified version of how GHS classifications are summarized:

  1. Identify data concerning hazard level of chemical.
  2. Test the chemical or consult existing scientific data.
  3. Place product in the appropriate class and category.

The ratings for aerosol products are a bit different from those for liquid chemicals as aerosols contain both a liquid and a propellant gas. The criteria for the flammability data is as follows:

  • Category 1 – 85% or more flammable components or has a heat of combustion of 30 kJ/g or more: Signal word – Danger; Hazard statement – Extremely flammable aerosol
  • Category 2 – 1% or more flammable components or has a heat of combustion of at least 20 kJ/g: Signal word – Danger or warning; Hazard statement – Flammable aerosol
  • Category 3 – <1% flammable components and a heat of combustion of less than 20 kJ/g: Signal word – Warning; Hazard statement: Non-flammable aerosol

So, these are very general standards, and we still receive frequent customer inquiries regarding flammability concerns and more specific information, particularly on the bulk formula­tions. Slide does offer a Silicone Emulsion water-based formula that is non-flammable and a nPB solvent that can be used for blending bulk mixtures. However, this compound is now only manufactured in Asia so it’s expensive and not an ideal solution.

Slide’s factory experts and local distributors are always available to assist with recommendations when choosing a product that is both functional and safe.


ShrinkFlation and the Plastics Industry

This term refers to how many companies are dealing with inflation by reducing an item’s size or quantity while keeping the price the same. Whether it’s a bag of potato chips, a toilet roll, or aerosol products, the practice is rampant and consumers are starting to take note. However, these firms are counting on the premise that the end user is probably more concerned about a price increase and may not notice the diminishing quantity.

Some of Slide’s competitors have taken to the practice of reducing their fill quantities. They often try to mask what they’re doing by using the term “ounce” in a non-defined way. Since both weight and volume are displayed in ounces, they will simply display “12 ounces” without specifying whether it’s weight or volume.

Here at Slide, we still fill our aerosol cans to the maximum volume allowed by DOT regulations and will never resort to labeling practices that could be deceptive to our customers.

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