MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and how can a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) protect you?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that gives detailed information about the nature of a chemical, such as physical and chemical properties, health, safety, fire, and environmental hazards of a chemical product.
Safety Data Sheets Are Designed For:
- workers who may be exposed to hazardous materials
- emergency personnel (for example, firefighters), who may have to clean up a spill or release.
MSDS’s must contain the same basic kinds of information, such as:
- Chemical Identity: Name of the product.
- Manufacturer’s Information: Name, address, phone number and emergency phone number of the manufacturer.
- Hazardous Ingredients/Identity Information: List of hazardous chemicals. Depending on the state, the list may contain all chemicals even if they are not hazardous, or only those chemicals which have OSHA standards. Since chemicals are often known by different names, all common (trade) names should be listed. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for each hazardous ingredient must be listed.
Required On Material Safety Data Sheet
Call your state OSHA (if applicable) or Federal OSHA. If the MSDS information is not accurate, Federal OSHA can ask the manufacturers to revise their data sheets.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET (MSDS)
- Physical/Chemical Characteristics: Boiling point, vapor pressure and density, melting point, evaporation rate, etc.
- Fire and Explosion Hazard Data: Flash point, flammability limits, ways to extinguish, special firefighting procedures, unusual fire and explosion hazards.
- Reactivity Data: How certain materials react with others when mixed or stored together.
- Health Hazard Data: Health effects (acute= immediate; chronic= long-term), ways the hazard can enter the body (lungs, skin or mouth), symptoms of exposure, emergency and first aid procedures.
- Precautions of Safe Handling and Use: What to do in case materials spill or leak, how to dispose of waste safely, how to handle and store materials in a safe manner.
- Control Measures: Ventilation (local, general, etc.), type of respirator/filter to use, protective gloves, clothing and equipment, etc.