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Chemical Packaging Regulations

12 April 2024 Posted by: Chris Cooper New Technologies

Chemical packaging regulations refer to the rules and guidelines that govern the packaging and labeling of chemicals to ensure their safe handling, transportation, and storage. These regulations are paramount, as they actively prevent accidents, protect the environment, and safeguard the health and safety of workers and the general public.

Several regulatory bodies and agencies oversee chemical packaging regulations, depending on the region and type of chemical. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the packaging and labeling of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for the labeling of hazardous chemicals in the workplace under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

Internationally, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has developed the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which provides a framework for the classification and labeling of chemicals worldwide. Various national and regional agencies, such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and Health Canada, also play roles in regulating chemical packaging and labeling.

Requirements for Chemical Packaging

The requirements for chemical packaging are influenced by several factors, including materials used for packaging, size and shape specifications, labeling requirements, compatibility considerations, closure and sealing requirements, and durability and strength standards. Understanding these factors is crucial for complying with regulatory standards and ensuring the integrity of chemical packaging.

Materials and Chemical Compatibility:

Packaging materials must be compatible with the chemicals they contain to prevent reactions that could compromise the package or pose safety risks

Size and Shape:

Packaging should be designed in sizes and shapes appropriate for the volume and nature of the chemical to be contained.

Closure and Sealing:

Chemical packaging must have a secure closure mechanism to prevent accidental opening or leakage. Leak-proof chemical packaging is especially important when handling and transporting corrosive substances such as acids. See a list of compatible vial closures here

Durability and Strength: 

Chemical packaging durability is crucial. Containers should be sturdy and strong enough to withstand necessary handling, storage, and transportation.


Standard labels for chemical containers must be used. Labels should include essential information such as the chemical name, hazards, handling instructions, and safety precautions.

How To Pack Hazardous Chemicals

To adhere to chemical packaging regulations and the HCS, there are five requirements for packaging hazardous chemicals. All labels must have:

1. A product identifier:

The product’s name and code.

2. Supplier identification:

The supplying company’s name, address, and phone number.  

3. Hazard and precautionary statements:

An example of a hazard statement might be, “May cause liver and kidney damage.” A sample precautionary statement could be, “Keep away from heat/sparks/open flame. No smoking.” If a product with a smaller label requires a large number of precautionary statements, several statements may be combined to save space. In such a case, the manufacturer may also note an order of priority for the required precautionary statements. 

4. A signal word:

At this time, there are only two words currently used as signal words, which are “DANGER” and “WARNING.” Danger is reserved for the more severe hazards, while warning serves as a signal for the less severe hazards. 

5. Hazard pictogram(s):

A hazard pictogram is a graphic symbol or representation that effectively communicates certain information about a chemical’s hazard. They typically appear like this

Read more about the chemical packaging industry on our blog page or learn more about ILT, the world leader in manufacturing seals and septa here.