Control Banding for the Environment

June 15, 2023

Control Banding for the Environment - Chemscape

How do chemical health hazards for humans relate to the environment?  

Chemical health hazards for humans and the environment are similar. One of the main similarities is that both humans and the environment can be negatively affected by exposure to toxic chemicals. Exposure to chemicals in humans can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, cancer, and other detrimental health effects, while environmental releases can lead to the diminished growth rate and death of plants, wildlife, and ecosystems. Additionally, many chemicals persist in the environment for years, leading to long-term health and environmental impacts. Preventing exposure is important for humans and the environment, as early recognition can avoid severe damage.  

How is control banding used to protect humans and the environment from chemicals?

Control banding is a strategy used to protect humans and the environment from the potential hazards associated with exposure to harmful chemicals. It involves identifying a range of controls that are proportional to the risk level associated with a particular chemical or exposure scenario.  

By implementing control banding strategies, employers and regulators can ensure that workers are adequately protected and that environmental contamination is minimized. For example, a control banding strategy for handling hazardous chemicals might involve eliminating the source of exposure, substituting less hazardous chemicals, reducing the amount of product used or controlling the application, and using personal protective equipment and secondary containment. 

By providing a systematic approach to managing risk, control banding helps organizations balance the need for hazard control with the constraints of limited time financial resources, and technical knowledge. It also enhances workers’ safety and protects the environment by preventing hazardous chemicals from moving into the food chain and ecological systems where it can adversely affect non-target species and the general environment. 

Which GHS Health Hazard Class of Chemicals also Negatively Affects the Environment?

Chemicals classified as GHS Acute Toxicity Category 1-3 and GHS Chronic Health Hazard Category 1-3 can negatively affect both human health and the environment.  

These health hazard categories include chemicals that fall under the following hazard classes: 

Acute Toxicity

This hazard class includes chemicals that can cause harm to human health through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact in a short period of time. Prolonged exposure to such chemicals can also pose a risk to the environment, including contamination of soil and water resources. 

Skin Corrosion/Irritation

Chemicals that fall under this hazard class can cause serious damage to the skin or eyes. When such chemicals are released into the environment, they can lead to environmental pollution and contamination. 

Respiratory Sensitization

Chemicals that cause respiratory sensitization can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory distress in individuals who are exposed. These chemicals can also cause harm to the environment through inhalation and contamination of air quality. 

Germ Cell Mutagenicity

Chemicals in this hazard class can cause changes to genetic material in cells, which can lead to genetic mutations and cancer. These chemicals can also cause harm to the environment by contaminating soil and water sources. 


Chemicals that are classified in this hazard category can cause cancer and other long-term health problems. Prolonged exposure to such chemicals can also result in pollution and environmental contamination. 

Protect the environment and prioritize worker safety with Chemscape’s cutting-edge Chemical Management Software, CHAMP. Our award-winning solution empowers organizations to effectively evaluate and manage chemical hazards. Contact our team today to request a demo and witness the benefits first-hand.