Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Logo: FAQ

Source: DGUV

Waste classification key

As the waste disposal officer in my company, I am often asked about the classification of waste materials. Would it be possible for you to include a search for the waste catalogue ordinance (WCO) numbers in your database?

The entries in the European WCO are primarily arranged in terms of processes and are not specific to the materials in question what makes it very difficult to assign them to specific individual materials. This was why we refrained from assigning the WCO numbers.

Change status

Would it be possible to include an entry on the change status in the database? Ideally, this should include the date and a note on the latest changes made to the entry.

The date is provided for the most recent changes to information on occupational health and first aid because it must be clear how recent the scientific information is that the entries are based on. Regulations and the measures they entail are updated as soon as they are enacted; a note on the latest date of change here is unnecessary. Most of the other data (eg: formulae, physical-chemical data) do not require that the most recent change date and status be included.


Would it be possible to provide this database in a format that could be downloaded? We would like to export the data into our own database.

The Terms of Use for the GESTIS substance database preclude importing parts or all of the data into third-party information systems. There are thus no plans to make the data available for download. Since our data is constantly updated, you would also have a rapidly aging set of data in your information system if you were to import them.

ZVG number

What does the ZVG number mean?

The ZVG number is a unique identification number in the GESTIS substance database (every database works by using special identification criteria). The commonly used IFA list of hazardous substances contains the ZVG number to make it faster to find more information on the substance in question in the GESTIS substance database. The chemicals encyclopaedia "RÖMPP-Online" will also list the ZVG number in the future.