The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard requires manufacturers or distributors
of hazardous materials to assess the physical and health hazards of the
chemical or product. This information must be included in the Material
Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which must be provided to the purchaser of the
product with at least the initial shipment of the chemical. Per the Hazard
Communication Standard, MSDS must be obtained and maintained for every
chemical used in the workplace. MSDS must be accessible to all personnel
during their work hours.
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This section gives the name and address of the
manufacturer and an emergency phone number where questions about toxicity
and chemical hazards can be directed.
Product Name: Commercial or marketing
Synonym: Approved chemical name and/or
Chemical Family: Group of chemicals with
related physical and chemical properties.
Formula: Chemical formula, if applicable;
i.e., the conventional scientific definition for a material.
CAS Number: Number assigned to chemicals
or materials by the Chemical Abstracts Service.
Hazardous Ingredients Of Mixtures
This section describes the percent composition
of the substance, listing chemicals present in the mixture. If it was tested
as a mixture, lists chemicals which contribute to its hazardous nature.
Otherwise, lists ingredients making up more than 1% and all carcinogens.
This section outlines the physical properties
of the material. The information may be used to determine conditions for
exposure. For example, one can determine whether or not a chemical will
form a vapor (vapor pressure), whether this vapor will rise or fall (vapor
density), and what the vapor should smell like (appearance and odor). This
could help determine whether to use a fume hood or where to place ventilators.
The following information is usually included:
Boiling Point: temperature at which liquid
changes to vapor state
Melting Point: temperature at which a
solid begins to change to liquid
Vapor Pressure: a measure of how volatile
a substance is and how quickly it evaporates. For comparison, the VP of
water (at 20o C) is 17.5 mm Hg, Vaseline (non-volatile) is close to 0 mm
Hg, and diethyl ether (very volatile) is 440 mm Hg.
Vapor Density (air=1): weight of a gas
or vapor compared to weight of an equal volume of air. Density greater
than 1 indicates it is heavier than air, less than 1 indicates it is lighter
than air. Vapors heavier than air can flow along just above
ground, where they may pose a fire or explosion
Specific Gravity (water=1): ratio of volume
weight of material to equal volume weight of water. Solubility in Water:
percentage of material that will dissolve in water, usually at ambient
temperature. Since the much of the human body is made of water, water soluble
substances more readily absorb and distribute.
Appearance/Odor: color, physical state
at room temperature, size of particles, consistency, odor, as compared
to common substances. Odor threshold refers to the concentration required
in the air before vapors are detected or recognized.
% Volatile by Volume: Percentage of a
liquid or solid, by volume, that evaporates at a temperature of 70oF. Evaporation
Rate: usually expressed as a time ratio with ethyl ether = 1, unless otherwise
Viscosity: internal resistance to flow
exhibited by a fluid, normally measured in centiStoke time or Saybolt Universal
Other Pertinent Physical Data: information
such as freezing point is given, as appropriate.
Fire And Explosion Hazard Data
This section includes information regarding the
flammability of the material and information for fighting fires involving
Flashpoint: the lowest temperature at
which a liquid gives off enough vapor to ignite when a source of ignition
Autoignition Temperature: the approximate
temperature at which a flammable gas-air mixture will ignite without spark
or flame. Vapors and gases will spontaneously ignite at lower temperatures
in oxygen than in air.
Flammable Limits: the lower explosive
limit (LEL) and upper explosive limit (UEL) define the range of concentration
of a gas or vapor in air at which combustion can occur. For instance, an
automobile carburetor controls this mixture - too lean (not enough chemical)
or too rich (not enough air, as when you flood your engine), will not ignite.
Extinguishing Media: appropriate extinguishing
agent(s) for the material.
Fire-fighting Procedures: Appropriate equipment
and methods are indicated for limiting hazards encountered in fire situations.
Fire or Explosion Hazards: Hazards and/or
conditions which may cause fire or explosions are defined.
Health Hazard Data
This section defines the medical signs and symptoms
that may be encountered with normal exposure or overexposure to this material
or its components. Information on the toxicity of the substance may also
be presented. Results of animal studies are most often given. i.e. LD50
(mouse)=250 mg/kg. Usually expressed in weight of chemical per kg of body
weight. LD50 or lethal dose 50 is the dose of a substance which will cause
the death of half the experimental animals. LC50 is the concentration of
the substance in air which will cause the death of half the experimental
Emergency And First Aid Procedures
Based on the toxicity of the product, degree
of exposure and route of contact (eye, skin, inhalation, ingestion, injection),
emergency and first aid procedures are recommended in this section. Additional
cautionary statements will also appear here.
This section includes information regarding the
stability of the material and any special storage or use considerations.
Stability: "unstable" indicates that a
chemical may decompose spontaneously under normal temperatures, pressures,
and mechanical shocks. Rapid decomposition produces heat and may cause
fire or explosion. Conditions to avoid are listed in this section.
Incompatibility: certain chemicals, when
mixed may create hazardous conditions. Incompatible chemicals should not
be stored together.
Hazardous Decomposition Products: chemical
substances which may be created when the chemical decomposes or burns.
Hazardous Polymerization: rapid polymerization
may produce enough heat to cause containers to explode. Conditions to avoid
are listed in this section.
Spill, Leak And Disposal Procedures
This section outlines general procedures, precautions
and methods for cleanup of spills. Appropriate waste disposal methods are
provided for safety and environmental protection.
Personal Protection Information
This section includes general information about
appropriate personal protective equipment for handling this material. Many
times, this section of the MSDS is written for large scale use of the material.
Appropriate personal protection may be determined by considering the amount
of the material being used and the actual manipulations to be performed.
Eye Protection: recommendations are dependent
upon the irritancy, corrosivity, and special handling procedures.
Skin Protection: describes the particular
types of protective garments and appropriate glove materials to provide
Respiratory Protection: appropriate respirators
for conditions exceeding the recommended occupational exposure limits.
Ventilation: air flow schemes (general,
local) are listed to limit hazardous substances in the atmosphere.