A safety data sheet (SDS), material safety data sheet (MSDS), or product safety data sheet (PSDS) is a document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products. SDSs are a widely used system for cataloging information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. SDS information may include instructions for the safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or product, along with spill-handling procedures. SDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements.
A SDS for a substance is not primarily intended for use by the general consumer, focusing instead on the hazards of working with the material in an occupational setting. There is also a duty to properly label substances on the basis of physico-chemical, health or environmental risk. Labels can include hazard symbols such as the European Union standard symbols. The same product (e.g. paints sold under identical brand names by the same company) can have different formulations in different countries. The formulation and hazard of a product using a generic name may vary between manufacturers in the same country.
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals contains a standard specification for safety data sheets. The SDS follows a 16 section format which is internationally agreed and for substances especially, the SDS should be followed with an Annex which contains the exposure scenarios of this particular substance. The 16 sections are:
In Canada, the program known as the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) establishes the requirements for SDSs in workplaces and is administered federally by Health Canada under the Hazardous Products Act, Part II, and the Controlled Products Regulations.
Safety data sheets have been made an integral part of the system of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH). The original requirements of REACH for SDSs have been further adapted to take into account the rules for safety data sheets of the Global Harmonised System (GHS) and the implementation of other elements of the GHS into EU legislation that were introduced by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP) via an update to Annex II of REACH.
The SDS must be supplied in an official language of the Member State(s) where the substance or mixture is placed on the market, unless the Member State(s) concerned provide(s) otherwise (Article 31(5) of REACH).
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a guidance document on the compilation of safety data sheets.
The German Federal Water Management Act requires that substances be evaluated for negative influence on the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of water. These are classified into numeric water hazard classes (WGK or WHC, depending on whether you use the German or English abbreviation).
This section contributes to a better understanding of the regulations governing SDS within the South African framework. As regulations may change, it is the responsibility of the reader to verify the validity of the regulations mentioned in text.
As globalisation increased and countries engaged in cross-border trade, the quantity of hazardous material crossing international borders amplified. Realising the detrimental effects of hazardous trade, the United Nations established a committee of experts specialising in the transportation of hazardous goods. The committee provides best practises governing the conveyance of hazardous materials and goods for land including road and railway; air as well as sea transportation. These best practises are constantly updated to remain current and relevant.
There are various other international bodies who provide greater detail and guidance for specific modes of transportation such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) by means of the International Maritime Code and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) via the Technical Instructions for the safe transport of dangerous goods by air as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) who provides regulations for the transport of dangerous goods.
These guidelines prescribed by the international authorities are applicable to the South African land, sea and air transportation of hazardous materials and goods. In addition to these rules and regulations to International best practice, South Africa has also implemented common laws which are laws based on custom and practise. Common laws are a vital part of maintaining public order and forms the basis of case laws. Case laws, using the principles of common law are interpretations and decisions of statutes made by courts. Acts of parliament are determinations and regulations by parliament which form the foundation of statutory law. Statutory laws are published in the government gazette or on the official website. Lastly, subordinate legislation are the bylaws issued by local authorities and authorised by parliament.
Statutory law gives effect to the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 and the National Road Traffic Act of 1996. The Occupational Health and Safety Act details the necessary provisions for the safe handling and storage of hazardous materials and goods whilst the transport act details with the necessary provisions for the transportation of the hazardous goods.
There has been selective incorporation of aspects of the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals into South African legislation. At each point of the chemical value chain, there is a responsibility to manage chemicals in a safe and responsible manner. SDS is therefore required by law. A SDS is included in the requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No.85 of 1993) Regulation 1179 dated 25 August 1995.
The categories of information supplied in the SDS are listed in SANS 11014:2010; dangerous goods standards – Classification and information. SANS 11014:2010 supersedes the first edition SANS 11014-1:1994 and is an identical implementation of ISO 11014:2009. According to SANS 11014:2010:
Dutch Safety Data Sheets are well known as veiligheidsinformatieblad nl:Veiligheidsinformatieblad or Chemiekaarten. This is a collection of Safety Data Sheets of the most widely used chemicals. The Chemiekaarten boek is commercially available, but also made available through educational institutes, such as the web site offered by the university of Groningen
In the U.K., the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 - known as CHIP Regulations - impose duties upon suppliers, and importers into the EU, of hazardous materials.
NOTE: Safety data sheets (SDS) are no longer covered by the CHIP regulations. The laws that require a SDS to be provided have been transferred to the European REACH Regulations.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations govern the use of hazardous substances in the workplace in the UK and specifically require an assessment of the use of a substance. Regulation 12 requires that an employer provides employees with information, instruction and training for people exposed to hazardous substances. This duty would be very nearly impossible without the data sheet as a starting point. It is important for employers therefore to insist on receiving a data sheet from a supplier of a substance.
The duty to supply information is not confined to informing only business users of products. SDSs for retail products sold by large DIY shops are usually obtainable on those companies' web sites.
Web sites of manufacturers and large suppliers do not always include them even if the information is obtainable from retailers but written or telephone requests for paper copies will usually be responded to favourably.
In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that SDSs be readily available to all employees for potentially harmful substances handled in the workplace under the Hazard Communication regulation. The SDS is also required to be made available to local fire departments and local and state emergency planning officials under Section 311 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The American Chemical Society defines Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers (CAS numbers) which provide a unique number for each chemical and are also used internationally in SDSs.
Reviews of material safety data sheets by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board have detected dangerous deficiencies.
The board’s Combustible Dust Hazard Study analyzed 140 data sheets of substances capable of producing combustible dusts. None of the SDSs contained all the information the board said was needed to work with the material safely, and 41 percent failed to even mention that the substance was combustible.
As part of its study of an explosion and fire that destroyed the Barton Solvents facility in Valley Center, Kansas, in 2007, the safety board reviewed 62 material safety data sheets for commonly used nonconductive flammable liquids. As in the combustible dust study, the board found all the data sheets inadequate.
In 2012, the US adopted the 16 section Safety Data Sheet to replace Material Safety Data Sheets. This became effective on December 1, 2013. These new Safety Data Sheets comply with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). By June 1, 2015, employers were required to have their workplace labeling and hazard communication programs updated as necessary – including all MSDSs replaced with SDS-formatted documents.
Many companies offer the service of collecting, or writing and revising, data sheets to ensure they are up to date and available for their subscribers or users. Some jurisdictions impose an explicit duty of care that each SDS be regularly updated, usually every three to five years. However, when new information becomes available, the SDS must be revised without delay.
This page provides supplementary chemical data on barium hydroxide.Calcium sulfate (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on calcium sulfate.Cocaine (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on Cocaine.Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548/EEC)
The Dangerous Substances Directive (as amended) was one of the main European Union laws concerning chemical safety, until its full replacement by the new regulation CLP Regulation (2008), starting in 2016. It was made under Article 100 (Art. 94 in a consolidated version) of the Treaty of Rome. By agreement, it is also applicable in the EEA, and compliance with the directive will ensure compliance with the relevant Swiss laws. The Directive ceased to be in force on 31 May 2015 and was repealed by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (Text with EEA relevance).Diborane (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on diborane.Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is an internationally agreed-upon standard managed by the United Nations that was set up to replace the assortment of hazardous material classification and labelling schemes previously used around the world.
“GLOBAL HARMONIZED SAFETY SYSTEM for CLASSIFIED CHEMICAL LABELLING”
- Core elements of the GHS include standardized hazard testing criteria, universal warning pictograms, and harmonized safety data sheets which provide users of dangerous goods with a host of information. The system acts as a complement to the UN Numbered system of regulated hazardous material transport. Implementation is managed through the UN Secretariat. Although adoption has taken time, as of 2017, the system has been enacted to significant extents in most major countries of the world. This includes the European Union, which has implemented the United Nations' GHS into EU law as the CLP Regulation, and United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.Hydrochloric acid (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on Hydrochloric acid.Information Center for Dangerous Goods
The Brandweerinformatiecentrum voor gevaarlijke stoffen/Information Centre for Dangerous Goods (BIG), established in the Flemish city of Geel, collects and validates information on dangerous goods.List of S-phrases
S-phrases are defined in Annex IV of European Union Directive 67/548/EEC: Safety advice concerning dangerous substances and preparations. The list was consolidated and republished in Directive 2001/59/EC, where translations into other EU languages may be found. The list was subsequently updated and republished in Directive 2006/102/EC, where translations to additional European languages were added.
These safety phrases are used internationally and not just in Europe, and there is an ongoing effort towards complete international harmonization. (Note: missing S-number combinations indicate phrases that were deleted or replaced by another phrase.)Methane (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on methane.Octafluoropropane (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on octafluoropropane.Paint stripper
Paint stripper, or paint remover, is a product designed to remove paint and other finishes and also to clean the underlying surface. Other paint removal methods involve mechanical (scraping or sanding) or heat (hot air, radiant heat, or steam). A material safety data sheet will provide more safety information than on the product label.
The removal of paint containing lead may lead to lead poisoning and is regulated in the United States.Pine-Sol
Pine-Sol is a registered trade name of Clorox for a line of household cleaning products, used to clean grease and heavy soil stains. Pine-Sol was based on pine oil when it was created in 1929 and during its rise to national popularity in the 1950s. However, as of 2016, Pine-Sol products sold in stores no longer contain pine oil as a result of profit maximization.Right to know
"Right to know", in the context of United States workplace and community environmental law, is the legal principle that the individual has the right to know the chemicals to which they may be exposed in their daily living. It is embodied in federal law in the United States as well as in local laws in several states. "Right to Know" laws take two forms: Community Right to Know and Workplace Right to Know. Each grants certain rights to those groups. The "right to know" concept is included in Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring.Environmental illness shares characteristics with common diseases. For example, cyanide exposure symptoms include weakness, headache, nausea, confusion, dizziness, seizures, cardiac arrest, and unconsciousness. Influenza and heart disease include the same symptoms. Cyanide is one of the most toxic known substances, and failure to obtain proper disclosure is likely to lead to improper or ineffective medical diagnosis and treatment. This can contribute to prolonged illness and death.Ruthenium(IV) oxide (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on ruthenium(IV) oxideSodium chloride (data page)
This page provides supplementary chemical data on sodium chloride.Sodium iodide
Sodium iodide (chemical formula NaI) is an ionic compound formed from the chemical reaction of sodium metal and iodine. Under standard conditions, it is a white, water-soluble solid comprising a 1:1 mix of sodium cations (Na+) and iodide anions (I−) in a crystal lattice. It is used mainly as a nutritional supplement and in organic chemistry. It is produced industrially as the salt formed when acidic iodides react with sodium hydroxide.Sodium methoxide
Sodium methoxide is a chemical compound with the formula CH3ONa. This colorless solid, which is formed by the deprotonation of methanol, is a widely used reagent in industry and the laboratory. It is also a dangerously caustic base.Windshield washer fluid
Windshield washer fluid (also called windshield wiper fluid, wiper fluid, screen wash (in the UK), or washer fluid) is a fluid for motor vehicles that is used in cleaning the windshield with the windshield wiper while the vehicle is being driven.
|Agencies and organizations|