WHAT IS MSDS?
A material safety data sheet (MSDS) is a form containing data regarding the properties of a particular substance. An important component of product stewardship and workplace safety, it is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill handling procedures. The exact format of an MSDS can vary from source to source within a country depending on how specific is the national requirement.
MSDS (material safety data sheets) are a widely used system for cataloging information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. MSDS information may include instructions for the safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or product. MSDS can be found anywhere chemicals are being used.
There is also a duty to properly label substances on the basis of physico-chemical, health and/or environmental risk. Labels can include hazard symbols such as the European Union standard black diagonal cross on an orange background, used to denote a harmful substance.
An MSDS for a substance is not primarily intended for use by the general consumer, focusing instead on the hazards of working with the material in an occupational setting.
In some jurisdictions, the MSDS is required to state the chemical's risks, safety and impact on the environment.
It is important to use an MSDS that is both country-specific and supplier-specific as the same product (e.g. paints sold under identical brand names by the same company) can have very different formulations in different countries; a product using a generic name (e.g. sugar soap) can also have a formulation and degree of hazard which varies between different manufacturers in the same country.
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