The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a detailed information bulletin
prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a chemical that
describes the physical and chemical properties, physical and
health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling
and use, emergency and first-aid procedures, and control measures.
Information on an SDS aids in the selection of safe products
and helps prepare employers and employees to respond effectively
to daily exposure situations as well as to emergency situations.
The SDSs are a comprehensive
source of information for all types of employers. There may
be information on the SDS that is not useful to you or not
important to safety and health in your particular operation.
Concentrate on the information that is applicable to your
situation. Generally, hazard information and protective measures
should be the focus of concern.
This kit contains a glossary
of terms used on SDSs. Some employers who are not very familiar
with chemical terminology may find this helpful in reading
and understanding SDSs.
Employers must maintain a complete and accurate SDS for each
hazardous chemical that is used in the facility. They are
entitled to obtain this information automatically upon purchase
of the material. When new and significant information becomes
available concerning a product's hazards or ways to protect
against the hazards, chemical manufacturers, importers, or
distributors must add it to their SDS within three months
and provide it to their customers with the next shipment of
the chemical. Employers must have an SDS for each hazardous
chemical used in the workplace. If there are multiple suppliers
of the same chemical, there is no need to retain multiple
SDSs for that chemical.
While SDSs are not required to
be physically attached to a shipment, they must accompany
or precede the shipment. When the manufacturer/supplier fails
to send an SDS with a shipment labeled as a hazardous chemical,
the employer must obtain one from the chemical manufacturer,
importer, or distributor as soon as possible. Similarly, if
the SDS is incomplete or unclear, the employer should contact
the manufacturer or importer to get clarification or obtain
missing information. A sample
letter requesting this information is included
in this kit.
When an employer is unable to
obtain an SDS from a supplier or manufacturer, he/she should
submit a written complaint, with complete background information,
to the nearest OSHA area office. OSHA will then, at the same
time, call and send a certified letter to the supplier or
manufacturer to obtain the needed information. If the supplier
or manufacturer still fails to respond within a reasonable
time, OSHA will inspect the supplier or manufacturer and take
appropriate enforcement action.
of an SDS and Their Significance
As part of the Global Harmonized System, the OSHA Hazard Communication
Standard specifies that each SDS be in English (employer may
maintain copies in other languages as well); and includes
the following section numbers and headings, and associated
information under each heading, in the following order.
Section 1. Identification
- Product identifier used
on the label.
- Other means of identification
- Recommended use of the chemical
and restrictions on use
- Name, address, and telephone
number of manufacturer, importer or other responsible
- Emergency Phone Number.
Section 2. Hazards
- Classification of the chemical
in accordance with paragraph (d) of 1910.1200
- Signal word, hazard statement(s),
symbol(s) and precautionary statement(s) in accordance
with paragraph (f) of 1910.1200. (Hazard symbols may be
provided as graphical reproductions in black and white
or the name of the symbol, e.g., flame, skull and crossbones).
- Describe any hazards not
otherwise classified that have been identified during
the classification process
- Where an ingredient with
unknown acute toxicity is used in a mixture at a concentration
>=1% and the mixture is not classified based on testing
of the mixture as a whole, a statement that X%of the mixture
consists of ingredient(s) of unknown acute toxicity is
3. Composition/Information on Ingredients
Except as provided for in
paragraph (i) of 1910.1200 on trade secrets:
- Chemical Name
- Common Name and synonyms
- CAS number and unique
- Impurities and stabilizing
additives which are themselves classified and which
contribute to the classification of the substance
In addition to the information
required for substances:
The chemical name and concentration
(exact percentage) or concentration ranges of all ingredients
which are classified as health hazards in accordance with
paragraph (d) of 1910.1200, and
- Are present above their
cut-off/concentration limits; or,
- Present a health risk
below their cut-off/concentration limits
The concentration (exact
percentage) shall be specified unless a trade secret claim
is made in accordance with paragraph (i) of 1910.1200,
when there is batch-to-batch variability in the production
of a mixture, or for a group of substantially similar
mixtures with similar composition. In these cases, concentration
ranges may be used.
For All Chemicals Where
a Trade Secret is Claimed
Where a trade secret is claim
in accordance with paragraph (i) of 1910.1200, a statement
that the specific chemical identity and/or exact percentage
(concentration) of composition has been withheld as a
trade secret is required.
Section 4. First
- Description of necessary
measures, subdivided according to the different routes
of exposure , i.e., inhalation, skin and eye contact,
- Most important symptoms
/effects, acute and delayed.
- Indication of immediate
medical attention and special treatment needed, if necessary.
Section 5. Fire-fighting
- Suitable (and unsuitable)
- Specific hazards arising
from the chemical (e.g., nature of any hazardous combustion
- Special protective equipment
and precautions for firefighters.
Section 6. Accidental
- Personal precautions, protective
equipment, and emergency procedures.
- Methods and materials for
containment and cleaning up.
7. Handling and Storage
- Precautions for safe handling.
- Conditions for safe storage,
including any incompatibilities
8. Exposure Controls/Personal protection
- OSHA Permissible Exposure
limits (PELs), American Conference of Governmental Industrial
Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs), and
any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical
manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the safety
data sheet, where available.
- Appropriate engineering
- Individual protection measures,
such as personal protective equipment.
9. Physical and Chemical Properties
- Appearance (physical state,
- Odor Threshold
- Melting point/freezing point
- Initial boiling point and
- Flash point
- Evaporation rate
- Flammability (solid, gas)
- Upper/lower flammability
or explosive limits
- Vapor pressure
- Vapor density
- Relative density
- Partition coefficient; n-octanol/water
- Auto-ignition temperature
- Decomposition temperature
10. Stability and Reactivity
- Chemical stability
- Possibility of hazardous
- Conditions to avoid (e.g.,
static discharge, shock, or vibration)
- Incompatible materials
- Hazardous decomposition
11. Toxicological Information
Description of various toxicological
(health) effects and the available data used to identify
those effects, including:
- Information on the likely
routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, skin and
- Symptoms related to the
physical, chemical and toxicological characteristics.
- Delayed and immediate
effects and also chronic effects from short- and long-term
- Numerical measures of
toxicity (such as acute toxicity estimates).
- Whether the chemical is
listed in the National Toxicological Program (NTP) Report
on Carcinogens (latest edition) or has been found to
be a potential carcinogen in the International Agency
for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest edition),
or by OSHA.
12. Ecological Information (Non Mandatory)
- Ecotoxicity (aquatic and
terrestrial, where available)
- Persistence and degradability
- Bioaccumulative potential
- Mobility in soil
- Other adverse effects (such
as hazardous to ozone layer)
13. Disposal Considerations (Non Mandatory)
Description of waste residues
and information on their safe handling and methods of
disposal, including disposal of any contaminated packaging.
14. Transport Information
- UN number
- UN Proper shipping name
- Transport Hazard class(es)
- Packing group, if applicable
- Environmental hazards (e.g.,
Marine pollutant (yes/no)
- Transport in bulk (according
to annex II or MARPOL 73/78 and the IBC code)
- Special precautions which
a user needs to be aware of, or needs to comply with,
in connection with transport or conveyance either within
or outside their premises.
15. Regulatory Information
Safety, health, and environmental
regulations specific for the product in question.
16. Other information, including date of preparation or
The date of preparation of
the SDS or the last change to it.
Employers must ensure that each employee has a basic knowledge
of how to find information on an SDS and how to properly make
use of that information. Employers also must ensure the following:
- Complete and accurate SDSs
are made available during each work shift to employees when
they are in their work areas.
- Information is provided for
each hazardous chemical:
Data Sheet Checklist (PDF)
Safety Data Sheet (PDF)
Quick Card - Safety Data Sheet (PDF)