Every chemical purchased is shipped with a safety data sheet (SDS). Review the information contained in the SDS before working with any chemical. The sections below provide information on the segments that comprise each SDS.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) contain information regarding hazards associated with chemical products, and recommended precautions for safe handling and storage. Covered information includes trade names, chemical composition, physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), health effects, recommended protective equipment, first aid measures, conditions to avoid, and in some cases disposal and spill procedures.
Supervisors must ensure that their employees have ready access to SDSs for all hazardous chemicals used in the workplace or laboratory. Access can be electronic or hard copy; if electronic, the employee must have easy access to a computer, and know how and where to obtain the relevant SDS.
In case of an accidental exposure to a hazardous material, provide a copy of the SDS to the health care attendant to inform them of the hazards and of any recommended medical treatment.
The safety data sheet follows a 16 section format that includes the following sections:
Lists the chemical, recommended uses, and contact information for the supplier.
Section 2: Hazard Identification
Hazards and appropriate warning information such as signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statement(s).
Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients
Chemical ingredients, including impurities and stabilizing additives.
Section 4: First-Aid Measures
Initial care that can be given by an untrained responder without the use of sophisticated equipment or wide selection of medications.
Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures
Requirements for fighting a fire caused by the chemical, or arising in its vicinity.
Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
Appropriate response to spills, leaks, or releases, to prevent or minimize adverse effects on people, property, and the environment.
Section 7: Handling and Storage
Safe handling practices to minimize potential hazards to people, property, and the environment.
Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Appropriate engineering controls, and individual protection measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE).
Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
Empirical data including appearance, odor, odor threshold, pH, melting/freezing point, initial boiling point and boiling range, flash point, evaporation rate, flammability, upper/lower flammability or explosive limits, vapor pressure, vapor density, relative density, solubilities, octanol-water partition coefficient, auto-ignition temperature, decomposition temperature, and viscosity.
Section 10: Stability and Reactivity
Reactivity hazards, and stability under temperature and pressure conditions. Also describes required stabilizers, and hazardous conditions to avoid. Provides a list of chemical classes that may produce hazardous reactions or decomposition products.
Section 11: Toxicological Information
Primarily for medical professionals; provides comprehensive descriptions of toxicological effects, including acute toxicity, skin corrosion/irritation, eye damage/irritation, respiratory or skin sensitization, germ cell mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, STOT-single exposure, STOT-repeated exposure, and aspiration hazards. Discusses likely routes and symptoms of exposure, including delayed, immediate, and chronic effects of short and long term exposure.
Section 12: Ecological Information
Information to evaluate the environmental impact of an accidental environmental release, including toxicity to aquatic and/or terrestrial organisms. May include test results of persistence and degradability, and information on bioaccumulative potential, mobility in soil, environmental fate, ozone depletion potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, endocrine disrupting potential and/or global warming potential.
Section 13: Disposal Considerations
Proper disposal, recycling, or reclamation of the chemical. Identifies precautions for incineration and/or landfill disposal.
Note: Local and state restrictions and regulations regarding disposal must be followed. Contact the EHS with questions, 303-724-0345.
Section 14: Transport Information
Basic classification information for transport/shipment by road, rail, sea, or air.
Section 15: Regulatory Information
Other regulatory information not provided elsewhere in the SDS.
Section 16: Other Information
Regards preparation and revision of the SDS, such as date/version of the document, a key/legend to the abbreviations and acronyms used, and key literature references and data sources.