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Safety of our chemical products

Compliance with regulatory requirements

When it comes to chemicals, some of which are also classed as hazardous substances, proper use is a prerequisite for the safety of people and the environment. This is why we provide our customers with extensive information about the safe use of our products.

Numerous regulations are intended to ensure that chemicals pose no danger to humans or the environment. Compliance with these regulatory requirements is an important part of our work. They pertain to the production, handling, import, marketing, recycling, and disposal of chemicals.

With our Group-wide “Product Safety Chemicals” policy, we have established global processes for defining, steering and implementing product safety, as well as the corresponding management structures. This policy covers all relevant national and international chemical regulations, including the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS ) and its implementation in regional legislation (such as the CLP regulation in the EU and HazCom in the United States), the EU chemicals regulation REACH , the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA ), and the German federal law on protection from hazardous substances (ChemG). The policy also incorporates legal standards that relate to the transport of hazardous substances, biocides, cosmetics, chemicals used in food and animal feed, etc. It is regularly updated with regard to new regulatory requirements – the last update was made in September 2012. The Group Product Safety Committee (GPSC) is responsible for continuously monitoring the relevant regulatory requirements; the Executive Board Member responsible for product safety is a member of this committee. Corporate Regulatory Affairs, a department within the Group function Environment Health Safety Security Quality (EQ), and local units are responsible for compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements for product safety.

Safety analysis during product development

We have developed various instruments in order to ensure that the development process yields products that are as safe to use as possible. This includes conducting analyses that show us how we can enhance product safety. At our life science tools division, we subject all product innovations to a formal EHS analysis that covers aspects such as environmental impact and the identification of harmful chemical substances. During the 2011-2012 period, a procedure called Innosessment was developed in the Advanced Materials business unit of the Performance Materials division; this process aims to help examine product innovations in terms of health-related and environmental effects such as toxicity. As a result of these analyses, for instance, critical constituents such as certain solvents are being replaced.

Transparent information for safer use

In order to increase user safety, we only deliver our chemicals to our customers with safety data sheets. These correspond to current relevant national regulatory requirements such as REACH and are available in more than 35 languages. We also provide our customers with declarations and analytical reports with which they can in turn fulfill their obligation to implement the EU directive RoHS.

We are committed to advanced product safety and especially transparency, going beyond the legal requirements. We support the goals of the Global Product Strategy, an international initiative of the chemical industry. In this context, we provide our customers with product safety summaries that are available on the website of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA ).

All information on using our products is also accessible on our website. There, we furthermore provide a program called ScIDeEx®  that enables users to check whether, based on the information in our safety data sheet, a chemical can be safely used even for a slightly modified use. This program helps significantly in making our chemicals safe for users. It is based on ECETOC TRA2, a program that is recognized by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). In 2012, we produced a film  on the safe use of life science tools division products in the lab, which is accessible on our website.

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Goals: Product safety











Strategic goal



Status in 2011 and 2012


Establish a globally uniform hazard and risk communication system for all relevant Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany chemicals in the supply chain, incorporating the principles of prevention

Implementation of REACH:

Publish the ScIDeEx® calculation program on the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Chemicals portal

End of 2011

The program ScIDeEx®  has been published on Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's website.

Provide all mixtures with new safety data sheets in accordance with REACH Annex II

End of 2012

All safety data sheets were converted to the new format by the deadline.


Register substances produced in quantities ranging from 100-1,000 metric tons per year (phase 2 of REACH implementation) and register non-phase-in substances


For more than 75 substances, and thus a majority of the relevant substances, the work has already been done. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is on schedule in terms of reaching its goal.


Register substances produced in quantities ranging from 1-100 metric tons per year (phase 3 of REACH implementation) and register non-phase-in substances


We have started the process of registering substances for phase 3.


Implementation of GHS/CLP:

Classify mixtures and sets according to the CLP regulation


We have started the process of classifying mixtures.


Implementation of the Global Product Strategy (GPS):

Within the scope of GPS, provide product safety summaries for all hazardous substances registered under REACH

End of 2020

The first product safety summaries are available on the website of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA ). In parallel to the registration of substances for REACH, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will produce further product safety summaries in order to achieve the goal for all substances.


Projects for hazard communication:

Update safety data sheets for non-hazardous materials

End of 2020

We have started updating the safety data sheets.


Increase the number of safety data sheets prepared to a globally uniform standard

End of 2020

A Group-wide standard is currently being developed.

Legend: Achieved In progress Not achieved New goal


Publication of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

In the United States and Canada the subsidiaries of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate under the umbrella brand EMD.


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