Labels for chemicals and hazardous products play several vital roles. Beyond keeping the folks in the lab or on the manufacturing floor safe, custom product labels ensure that everyone who encounters these substances, from the delivery truck driver to the end consumer, is well-informed and protected. They aren’t just for show. They’re a critical part of the safety infrastructure, conveying information about the product in a clear and unambiguous way.

Product labels for chemicals (also called prime labels) must also comply with safety regulations from a range of federal and state agencies. These regulations specify what information must be included on the label, how it must be displayed, and even what colors, symbols, pictograms, and hazard statements are needed. It’s a complex process that can’t be ignored. Oversights can lead to serious consequences, from regulatory fines to real-world accidents and lawsuits.

Yet regulatory compliance isn’t just about avoiding negative outcomes. It’s also about achieving positive ones. When a product’s labels are fully compliant, it signals that the company isn’t just concerned with ticking boxes and meeting minimum standards. It says that the company is committed to safety, transparency, and corporate responsibility. When its labels include helpful information and interactive elements for consumers, it builds brand loyalty. In other words, well designed prime labels signal that a brand is serious about doing things the right way. And in the high-stakes world of chemicals and hazardous products, that’s a quality that’s worth its weight in gold.

4 Key Elements of Labels for Chemicals and Hazardous Products

Because of the potential for harm with chemical labels, it’s important to do a thorough review of the factors that affect their design and printing.

With that in mind, below is an overview of four key areas to consider in chemical label design and printing, including:

  1. Regulatory Compliance for Chemical Labels
  2. Material and Durability Considerations for Chemical Labels
  3. Branding and Design Aesthetics for Chemical Products
  4. Innovations and Trends in Chemical Product Labeling

Regulatory Compliance for Chemical Labels

Hazardous and chemical label regulations

There are several federal and state agencies that regulate the labeling of hazardous products.

Federal laws affecting chemical and hazardous labels

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers guidelines for consumer product labeling.

The DOT label regulations are one area where chemical labels may have extra requirements not found in other types of labels. Depending on the product’s classification, it may require additional special hazardous warning labels on the product, on the case packaging, and on pallet packaging.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has information on the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) requirements. The FHSA requires specific labeling information on the container of hazardous household products. It also offers guidelines on determining if a product is hazardous. The CPSC also has a Regulatory Robot to help companies determine which federal product safety requirements apply.

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations has an in-depth document that covers a wide range of labeling requirements for hazardous materials.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has its own requirements for labeling and shipping dangerous packages for air transport. This is in addition to the DOT requirements.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers guidelines for labeling food and drugs.

Tamper-resistant packaging (TRP) is only required by the FDA for human drug products.

Get additional detailed information here in this related article on label information.

State laws and chemical label requirements

Most states’ labeling requirements are aligned with Federal law and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals. You can get more details in this guide to chemical labels classification.

But it pays to check. California, for example, has Proposition 65, which “requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

The California Consumer Products Regulation applies “to any person that sells, supplies, offers for sale, or manufactures for sale or use in California a chemically formulated consumer product. The type of regulated entities includes manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers. The Regulation defines consumer product categories and establishes limits for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and other compounds for each category.”

It also includes requirements for labeling regulated products.

Material and Durability Considerations for Chemical Labels

Labels for chemical products must adhere to a variety of surfaces such as glass, metal, or plastic. They are subject to a wide range of uses and sometimes harsh environments such as heat and humidity. The chemicals themselves can also be a factor in determining the best label material.

A few types of label paper include:

Coated Paper

Permanent

Uncoated Paper

Removeable

White BOPP (Polypropylene)

Blockout

Clear BOPP

Freezer Perm

White BOPP Freezer Perm

A label’s print finishes can also offer additional protection or meet other regulatory or usage requirements. A few examples of print finishes for labels include:

  • No finish
  • Gloss Varnish (Thermal Transfer Printable)
  • Matte Varnish (Thermal Transfer Printable)
  • Gloss Overlaminate
  • Matte Overlaminate
  • Soft Touch Lamination (velvety to the touch)
  • Overall UV Coating
  • Spot UV Coating
  • Raised Spot gloss UV Coating
  • Foil Stamping
  • Raise Foil in Gold or Silver
  • Metallic Foil Effects (without using foil)
  • Embossing

The combination of chemical, container, environment, and end use is why it is important to have a discussion with your printing supplier about label durability and material requirements.

Branding and Design Aesthetics for Chemical Product Labels

Design chemical and hazardous labels

As with any other prime label, design fundamentals need review. These include brand identity, color psychology, visual hierarchy (layout matters), readability, and engaging design.

This series of label design articles go into more detail on the various aspects of branding and design.

Innovations and Trends in Chemical Product Labeling

Label printing and production technology is constantly evolving in ways that benefit both consumers and manufacturers. Below are some key considerations.

Interactive or Smart Labels

Interactive label elements can include QR codes (quick response), AR codes (augmented reality), RFID codes (radio frequency identification), and conventional bar codes.

QR and AR codes can lead the consumer to additional content on web pages. This can include instructional videos, manuals, or sales pages for other products. This is an easy way to increase consumer engagement with a brand.

RFID codes help manufacturers track products through the supply chain, which helps improve future logistics. Bar codes also track and identify products but typically don’t contain as much information as QR or AR codes.

Sustainability

Today’s buyers of labels are keen to incorporate eco-friendly options in their purchasing practices. This means its important to have sustainable options such as recycled and recyclable label substrates, vegetable-based inks, and modern printing workflows that minimize production waste in time and material.

Digital Label Printing

Digital printing is inherently sustainable. It wastes almost no material in setting up and running a job. It allows for very small quantities to be economically produced which reduces wasteful label inventories. It also reduces the need for many of the toxic chemicals used in offset lithography and flexography.

Digital label printing also allows for nearly unlimited versioning or segmenting. This means manufacturers can produce label variations for colors, SKU’s, geographic location, model variations, and more. And it doesn’t require additional plate charges or make ready costs.

Future Regulatory Changes

If there is the possibility of a regulatory change, it’s important to avoid a wasteful excess inventory of labels. Or worse, a batch of products labeled with an obsolete label can mean a product recall or an expensive re-labeling.

Getting It Done

It’s one thing knowing about the intricacies of designing and printing labels for chemical products and hazardous material. It’s another to get it all done in a timely fashion. This is why it’s important to stay connected with an experienced label supplier.

That’s where Clear Print can help.

Why Choose Clear Print

Clear Print, a commercial printing company located in Chatsworth, CA, supplies premium custom labels for chemicals and hazardous products. With over 43 years of industry experience, Clear Print is well known for its specialized services and on-time delivery, making them the top choice for businesses in need of compliant labeling solutions. This means customers don’t have to worry about the details, they can trust Clear Print’s expert guidance and focus on their own operations. Their award-winning services are backed by a 10,000 sq. ft. production facility and personalized customer service on every job.

Request a Quote
3 key benefits of working with Clear Print

Testimonials

“I would like to let everyone know that I had a great experience at Clear Print. This was my first time using them and since it was not a small order but one which involved many thousands of $$$, I was really hoping I wouldn’t be let down. They absolutely over-delivered on the job and created a very high-quality, stunningly beautiful result, and at a much more economical pricing than other bids. Additionally, Geoff Pick kept me informed and up-to-date the whole time and even exhibited the patience of a saint with all my novice-type questions, which he clearly explained at length, assuaging my concerns. I would highly recommend Clear Print to anyone looking to get a fantastic result at a very competitive price.”

Daniel Trevor, La Canada, CA

“We have worked with Geoff and his team at Clear Print for over 15 years on many different types of printing products. We have been very satisfied, as reflected in our long-standing relationship. They are professional and responsive and produce excellent quality products at fair prices. Highly recommended.”

Sean Luner

See more Clear Print reviews here.

How it Works – Ordering Chemical Labels in CA

Working with Clear Print is simple.

1 – Get in touch to discuss your project. Send us a quote specs here and we’ll call you back to review it. Or if you prefer, call us at 818-709-1220 to get started.

2 – Once we get your OK to proceed, we take care of all the production details.

3 – Your job is delivered when and where you need it!

Key Features of Using Clear Print as a Prime Label Supplier

► Digital and offset printing capability

► Commitment to 100% on-time delivery

► 10,000 square foot production facility

► Award-winning printing methodology

► Personal, one-to-one customer service

► 43+ years of print industry excellence

► Creative design services

► Pre-press service

► Mailing

► Die cutting

► Bindery services

► Fulfillment

► Serving clients throughout Southern  California

► Help with product photography,      

      illustrations, and technical drawings

Areas Served by Clear Print

In addition to cosmetics label design and printing, we provide printing, graphic design, photography, copy writing and editing, marketing surveys, and website design for the following areas in California:

Agoura
Beverly Hills
Burbank
Calabasas
Canoga Park
Chatsworth
Encino
Glendale
Granada Hills
Hollywood

Los Angeles
North Hills
Northridge
Pacoima
Reseda
San Fernando Valley
Santa Clarita
Santa Monica
Sherman Oaks
Simi Valley

Studio City
Sylmar
Tarzana
Thousand Oaks
Valencia
Van Nuys
Ventura
West Hills
Westlake Village
Woodland Hills

Directions to Clear Print

Our printing and design building is located at 9025 Fullbright Avenue, Chatsworth CA 91311. Follow the map to get to our location or call us at (818) 709-1220.

Areas Served by Clear Print

In addition to custom labels for cosmetics, we provide printing, graphic design, photography, copy writing, editing, marketing surveys, and website design for the following areas:

Agoura
Beverly Hills
Burbank
Calabasas
Canoga Park

Chatsworth
Encino
Glendale
Granada Hills
Hollywood

Los Angeles
North Hills
Northridge
Pacoima
Reseda

San Fernando Valley
Santa Clarita
Santa Monica
Sherman Oaks
Simi Valley

Studio City
Sylmar
Tarzana
Thousand Oaks
Valencia

Van Nuys
Ventura
West Hills
Westlake Village
Woodland Hills

Directions

Our printing and design building is located at 9025 Fullbright Avenue, Chatsworth CA, 91311.

Follow the map to get to our location or call us at (818) 709-1220.

Geoffrey Pick

President

Please call now to discuss your project.