About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7621-7627
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0741

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

PERCEPTION OF CHEMICAL HAZARD THROUGH CHEMICAL LABELING, A CASE OF STUDY

S. Monteiro, L. Heleno, K. Ispolnov

Instituto Politecnico de Leiria (PORTUGAL)
Communication of chemical hazards is essential to prevent harm from contact with chemical substances and thus reduce occupational injuries and diseases at the workplace and protect the end-users [1]. In order to improve chemical safety worldwide, the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was devised. It specifies classification criteria of health, physical and environmental hazards, and also the information to be included on labels and safety data sheets of hazardous chemicals [2]. The GHS establishes a standardized labeling of chemicals to be recognized internationally; however, besides the existence of a common labeling system, the correct interpretation of symbols and perception of chemical hazards are also of paramount importance [2].

From the results of previous studies [3] it was considered necessary to improve education in the subject of safety information by devising new and more effective methodologies. It was proposed that involving the students in public surveys on safety pictogram understanding could be a useful project-based, hands-on learning technique. In this paper we present the results of a study on the perception of the nine GHS chemical hazard pictograms, most of them present in everyday label products. The study was designed, the materials were gathered and the survey was developed by final-year undergraduate students of Energy and Environmental Engineering as part of their seminar activities. The study consisted in a multiple-choice test and involved about 1260 independent answers. After the answers were given, the meaning of the GHS pictograms was revealed and discussed with each respondent in order to analyse the greatest difficulties experienced. Thus another important output was the individual explanation of the meaning of the pictograms by each person involved in the study. The best-understood chemical hazard pictograms were “explosive”, “flammable” and “highly toxic”, but the rest of hazard symbols were of moderate to poor comprehensibility. A significant level of critical confusion occurred with the “exclamation mark” symbol. During the discussion held after the survey, most people’s uncertainties and misconceptions also proved consistent with the multiple-choice test results.

Two main conclusions were drawn from this study. First, after this activity the involved students’ knowledge improved significantly, as shown by assessment results before and after the activity. Second, the survey results themselves showed that information about the new GHS has not been sufficiently widespread and consolidated among the general public, especially among students. These results alert to the need to increase the emphasis on safety pictograms in public information and mainly in school programs. Projects such as the described can prove to be a useful practical learning methodology.

References:
[1] Su, T. and Hsu, I. (2008). Perception towards chemical labeling for college students in Taiwan using Globally Harmonized System. Safety Science 46, pp 1385–1392.
[2] United Nations (2015). Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), eISBN 978-92-1-057320-7.
[3] Monteiro, S., Heleno, L., Ispolnov, K. and Ribeiro, M. (2016), Safety Pictograms Perception Analysis. INTED2016 Conference 7th-9th March 2016, Valencia, Spain, pp 7385-7392,
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7.
@InProceedings{MONTEIRO2016PER,
author = {Monteiro, S. and Heleno, L. and Ispolnov, K.},
title = {PERCEPTION OF CHEMICAL HAZARD THROUGH CHEMICAL LABELING, A CASE OF STUDY},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0741},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0741},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7621-7627}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Monteiro AU - L. Heleno AU - K. Ispolnov
TI - PERCEPTION OF CHEMICAL HAZARD THROUGH CHEMICAL LABELING, A CASE OF STUDY
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0741
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7621
EP - 7627
ER -
S. Monteiro, L. Heleno, K. Ispolnov (2016) PERCEPTION OF CHEMICAL HAZARD THROUGH CHEMICAL LABELING, A CASE OF STUDY, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7621-7627.
User:
Pass: