Below you’ll find a complete list of material safety data sheets related to every chemical we supply.
This page is automatically updated each time new MSDS sheets are created
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What is an MSDS?
MSDS stands for material safety data sheet. A material safety data sheet is a technical document which provides comprehensive information about a controlled product. This information includes the potential health effects of product exposure, hazards related to handling, storage or use, how to protect workers, and emergency protocol.
What’s in an MSDS?
Material safety data sheets may differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they all contain the same basic information and an international 16-section format has been developed and is documented in ANSI Standard Z400. These sections are:
- Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking
- Hazards identification
- Composition/information on ingredients
- First aid measures
- Firefighting measures
- Accidental release measures
- Handling and storage
- Exposure controls/personal protection
- Physical and chemical properties
- Stability and reactivity
- Toxicological information
- Ecological information
- Disposal considerations
- Transport information
- Regulatory information
- Other information
How to Read an MSDS
While material safety data sheets appear to be complicated, they are actually fairly easy to read. In essence, an MSDS should be used to make necessary determinations about the chemical product in the capacity that you will be handling, using or storing it. For example, this could mean whether the product is hazardous, how best to store it, the personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn, and how to properly dispose of it.
Be aware that an MSDS isn’t a complete source of information, as they provide a general summary. Additionally the chemical or material in question may also be affected by local legislation, which isn’t typically found in an MSDS.
When you read a material safety data sheet, bear in mind that there are four hazards types:
- Health hazards
- Fire hazards
- Reactivity hazards, i.e. potential risks of mixing chemicals
- Environmental hazards
Some of the language used can be technical or product-specific – there’s a great summary of what the technical language and common terms used in an MSDS mean here.
An Example of How to Read an MSDS
Each of the sixteen sections in a material safety data sheet has a number of sub-sections. These sub-sections are designed to provide further information and clarity on a particular topic. Some sections will have more information than others; it completely depends on the chemical. For example, the glycerol MSDS has a much lengthier section four (first aid measures) than the deionised water MSDS.
Sections and sub-sections of an MSDS
Let’s take section five of an MSDS – ‘Firefighting measures’ – as an example of how to read it. This section has three sub-sections:
- Extinguishing media
- Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
- Advice for firefighters
The purpose of this section is to describe any fire hazards associated with the chemical. This can help determine how and where it would be best to store the product, how to handle it, where to place fire extinguishers and which type of extinguisher is best to use, how to best respond to a fire, and emergency procedures. This information is typically used by firefighters and employees handling the chemical.
The Difference Between SDS and MSDS
Basically, an SDS (safety data sheet) is the same as an MSDS. The only difference is that an SDS refers to a safety data sheet that conforms with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS). This system uses a strict 16-section format.
How Often Are MSDS Updated?
Material safety data sheets are updated every three years, unless significant new data about a product comes to light before that amount of time, such as a change to the hazard classification, method of handling or personal protection.
What Is a CAS Number of an MSDS?
CAS stands for Chemical Abstracts Service. A CAS registry number is a unique number that identifies a chemical. It means that when chemicals have different names for the same thing, such as isopropyl alcohol and isopropanol, you can identify that they are the same because they’ll have the same CAS number. This is beneficial from both an inventory and a safety point of view. Every MSDS includes a CAS number.