According to Annex 3 of UN’s Codification of hazard and precautionary statements, a hazard statement represents the different types of hazards of a chemical substance or mixture under the GHS regulations. Precautionary statements in GHS are standard phrases, which describe the recommended measures to be taken in order to prevent negative effects when using, handling or disposing of hazardous substances and mixtures. In Europe, from December 2010, hazard and precautionary statements (H- and P-statements) have gradually replaced Risk (R-) and Safety (S-) phrases which will completely disappear by June 2015 for substances and June 2017 for mixtures.


Hazard statements

Hazard statements are used to determine physical, health and environmental hazards. They apply an alphanumerical code, which includes one letter and three numbers:


  1. one letter, “H”(it stands for hazard statement)
  2. one number, which indicates the primary nature of the hazard:—  “2” for physical hazard— “3” for health hazard and—  “4”for environmental hazard
  3. two numbers relative to the intrinsic properties of the material— 200-210 explosivity—  220-230 flammability etc


There are some examples of H statements:

  • Physical hazard statement; H200 Unstable explosive
  • Health hazard:  H300 Fatal if swallowed
  • Environmental hazard:  H401 Toxic to aquatic life

There are also used combinations of hazard statements, such as H301 +H311. The appropriate text for this label should be: Toxic if swallowed or in contact with skin.


Precautionary statements

Precautionary statements define a unique code, which includes one letter and three numbers:

  1. one letter, “P”(it stands for precautionary statement)
  2. one number, which indicates the type of the precautionary statement:—  “1” for general precautionary statements—  “2” for prevention precautionary statements—   “3” for response precautionary statements

    —  “4”for storage precautionary statements

    —  “5” for disposal precautionary statements

  3. two numbers relative to the sequential numbering  of the precautionary statements

There are some examples of P statements:

  • General:  P102 Keep out of reach of children
  • Prevention: P201 Obtain special instructions before use
  • Response: P301 If swallowed
  • Storage: P402 Store in a dry place
  • Disposal:  P502 refer to manufacturer or supplier for information on recovery or recycling