Material safety data sheets (MSDS)
Manufacturers provide material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for their hazardous materials. MSDSs provide important safety information about chemical products and their ingredients.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that each MSDS must include, at a minimum, the information in the 12 sections outlined below. OSHA does not specify the exact format of the MSDS, or even how the information should be broken into different sections. Thus, MSDSs prepared by different manufactures tend to look different and contain different information. Even MSDSs for the same chemical can be quite different if prepared by different manufacturers.
OSHA-mandated MSDS information:
Chemical identity: the chemical identity as listed on the label, the material’s chemical and common names, and a list of all hazardous ingredients.
Physical data: physical and chemical characteristics, such as vapor pressure, flash point, density, and boiling point.
Physical hazards: data on fire and explosion, and reactivity. These usually appear as two separate sections on the actual MSDS.
Health hazards: signs and symptoms of exposure, and any medical conditions generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the material.
Primary route(s) of entry: the route(s) by which the material could most likely enter the body.
Exposure limits: legal exposure limits (OSHA and other recommended limits). This frequently includes toxicity information.
Carcinogenicity: states whether the material causes cancer.
Precautions for safe handling and use: any precautions for safe handling and use known to the party preparing the MSDS, such as appropriate hygienic practices, protective measures required during handling of contaminated equipment, and procedures for clean-up of spills and leaks.
Control measures: any control measures known to the party preparing the MSDS, such as engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment.
Emergency and first aid measures
Revision data: date of preparation of the MSDS and the date of the last change to it.
Manufacturer contact information: includes name, address, and telephone number of the party responsible for the MSDS, who can provide additional information about the material if necessary.