British Standard BS 5609, or the British Saltwater Immersion Test, is a specification for printed pressure-sensitive labels for marine use. Under the UN GHS and the IMDG Code, chemical manufacturers transporting dangerous goods on international waters are required to use labels able to withstand a three-month salt-water submersion test, UV resistance and meet durability criteria.
BS 5609-certified labels are proven to meet the most stringent tests for durability in the industry, and are described as an extremely durable label suitable for use in harsh environmental conditions.
There are two key sections of the standard referring to tests for the permanence and durability of the BS 5609 label material and adhesive and abrasion resistance and permanence of the print on the label.
BS 5609 Section 2 – Label Performance
Section 2 outlines tests for the permanence and durability of the BS 5609 label material and adhesive under conditions of marine exposure, temperature variations, weathering and exposure to salt spray and sunlight. Section 2 tests are conducted on blank adhesive-coated base material to determine the permanence and durability of the label material and adhesive.
BS 5609 Section 3 – Print Performance
Section 3 of BS 5609 refers to the abrasion resistance and permanence of the print on the label. Testing includes exposure to artificial weathering (salt spray and sunlight), and tape removal and abrasion resistance (samples are rolled in a mixture of sand and artificial sea water). Only BS 5609 Section 2 approved materials can be used for BS 5609 Section 3 testing.