Labelling of drugs and poisons

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Poisons and drugs
which are sold or supplied (ie. where there is a transfer of ownership) are subject to standards and guidelines. These poisons and drugs are substances listed in schedules of the `Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons' (SUSDP) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Agricultural chemicals are subject to the Code of Practice for Labelling Agricultural Chemical Products and Code of Practice for Labelling Home Garden and Domestic Pest Control Products produced by the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council (available from the AGPS). Both are referenced by the National Registration Authority (see 0).

Guidelines are provided for the labelling, description and packaging, as well as controls for the advertising, supply and storage and, for some substances, the permitted level of impurities. These guidelines are adopted by 13 State and Territory-based legislation and forms part of the National Commission's requirements for the workplace labelling of hazardous substances (see 3.2).

The labelling of poisons and drugs is more fully detailed in the appendix beginning page 408.

* SUSDP labelling for industrial chemicals defers to workplace labelling as defined in the National Commission's Guidance Note.


Labelling requirements for poisons and drugs are outlined in Appendix 9. There are in addition and generally independent of any other requirements such as workplace labels (3) and transport labels (

Labelling is a means for manufacturers and suppliers to communicate to users about suitability, safe use, applicability, storage, disposal, first aid and other emergency information.

Therefore, such labelling is used before;

Purchase to indicate;
bulletsuitability for intended use; bulletsafety for intended application; bulletprotection advice (eg. personal protective equipment); and bulletamounts required. Use to indicate; bulletprotective measures (ventilation, respirators etc.); bulletmethod of preparation; bulletamounts required; and bulletmethod of application. Application to indicate; bulletlocation; bullettiming; and bulletsafety measures. Storage to indicate; bulletlocation; bulletconditions; and bulletmethod. < Disposal to indicate; bulletmethods or arrangements (product and container). Safety and First Aid to indicate; bullethazard warning statements; bulletaction statements; bulletprotection clothing and equipment; bulletafter use actions; and bulletFirst Aid on exposure

* Farm chemicals.

bulletAvcare (formerly the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council) has produced the Code of Practice for Labelling of Veterinary Chemical Products which provides guidance to State Legislation. (AGPS Cat. No 89 1607 6). bulletIn many States it is legislated that farm chemicals must be used in terms of the information provided on the registered label for the product.

* Poisons and drugs, (in addition to being subject to specific poisons and drugs labelling), are required to be kept in specified containers. Containers to be transported are subject to the requirements of transport containers of dangerous goods (30.3).

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© 1996; Chemlink Pty Ltd, PO Box 673, West Perth, Western Australia

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