16 sections of an sds

16 Sections of an SDS: Deciphering a Safety Data Sheet

Confused by what’s in a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)? No need to be. In this article we tell you exactly what’s in them. Are you a carrier or shipper? Pay close attention to Section 14. 

The 16 sections of an SDS (Safety Data Sheet) are a crucial part of the Global Harmonization System (GHS) and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard. And SDS is also helpful for hazardous materials transportation purposes as well.

What Is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a document that provides essential information about hazardous chemicals and their safe handling in occupational settings. The SDS is a crucial component of workplace safety and hazard communication.

It provides valuable information such as hazard identification, composition and ingredients, chemical properties and transport information. 

If you ship or transport the same materials on a regular basis, you may also want to include this information as part of your dot hazmat training

What are the 16 sections in an SDS?

Paragraph (g) to 29 CFR 1910.1200 indicates the required, as well as non mandatory information to include in the SDS and the format.  Sections 1-11 and 16 are required, sections 12-15 may be included but are not required. 

If you’re a motor carrier or shipper, Section 14 will give the information you need to complete shipping papers (documentation), placards, labels, marking and other essential info for your shipment.

It’s recommended that Section 14 information is cross referenced with a current copy of the hazardous materials regulations

  • Section 1, Identification
  • Section 2, Hazard(s) identification
  • Section 3, Composition/information on ingredients
  • Section 4, First-aid measures
  • Section 5, Fire-fighting measures
  • Section 6, Accidental release measures
  • Section 7, Handling and storage
  • Section 8, Exposure controls/personal protection
  • Section 9, Physical and chemical properties
  • Section 10, Stability and reactivity
  • Section 11, Toxicological information
  • Section 12, Ecological information (not mandatory)
  • Section 13, Disposal considerations (not mandatory)
  • Section 14, Transport information (not mandatory)
  • Section 15, Regulatory information (not mandatory)
  • Section 16, Other information
safety data sheets

Section 1: Identification

The Identification section provides details about your product, including alternative names, the company that produces or supplies it, and emergency contact information.

Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification.

 The Hazards Identification section summarizes the chemical’s dangers. It uses a 0-4 scale to rate risks, with 0 being least severe and 4 most severe. This information is often displayed visually using the NFPA 704 diamond or a hazard bar for quick reference. This section provides an overview of health, fire, and reactivity risks, which are detailed further in subsequent sections.

Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients

Section 3 of a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) provides crucial information about the composition of a product. This section details:

1. Product components:
   – Chemical substances
   – Impurities
   – Stabilizing additives

2. Required information for all substances:
   – Chemical name
   – Common name and synonyms
   – Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number
   – Other unique identifiers

3. Additional disclosure requirements:
   When a product contains ingredients classified as health hazards or present above concentration limits, the SDS must include:
   – Chemical names
   – Exact percentages (concentrations)

4. Percentage ranges:
   These may be used for:
   – Mixtures with batch-to-batch variation
   – Groups of substantially similar mixtures
   – Trade secret claims

5. Trade secret claims:
   If exact percentages are withheld due to trade secrets, a statement indicating this must be included in Section 3.

This comprehensive breakdown of a product’s composition is helpful for understanding its overall classification and potential health risks. The information provided helps users identify hazardous components and their concentrations, ensuring proper handling and safety measures.

Section 4: First Aid Measures

Section 4 of an SDS outlines essential first aid measures for chemical exposure. It contains:

1. Symptom descriptions:
   – Acute effects
   – Delayed effects

2. First aid instructions for exposure routes:
   – Inhalation
   – Skin contact
   – Eye contact
   – Ingestion

3. Medical recommendations:
   – Immediate care procedures
   – Special treatments, if required

This section guides untrained responders in providing initial assistance to exposed individuals. It emphasizes the most critical symptoms and effects, ensuring appropriate and timely response to chemical incidents. The information enables responders to address both immediate and potential delayed health impacts effectively.

Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures

Section 5 of an SDS provides critical fire-fighting information for the chemical. It includes:

1. Extinguishing methods:
   – Suitable fire-fighting equipment
   – Inappropriate extinguishing tools for specific situations

2. Chemical-specific fire hazards:
   – Unique dangers during combustion
   – Hazardous byproducts formed in fires

3. Firefighter safety:
   – Recommended personal protective equipment (PPE)
   – Special precautions for fire suppression

This section equips responders with essential knowledge to combat chemical fires safely and effectively. It highlights potential dangers, guides equipment selection, and outlines necessary protective measures for firefighters dealing with the specific chemical.

Section 6: Accidental Release Measures

Section 6 of an SDS outlines response protocols for chemical releases. It covers:

1. Release management:
   – Spill containment procedures
   – Cleanup methods
   – Differentiation between large and small spills, if applicable

2. Personal protection:
   – Recommended precautions
   – Appropriate protective equipment
   – Measures to prevent contamination of skin, eyes, and clothing

3. Emergency actions:
   – Evacuation guidelines
   – When to consult experts
   – Suitable protective attire

This section provides comprehensive guidance for safely and effectively addressing chemical releases. It ensures responders can quickly implement appropriate containment and cleanup measures while prioritizing personal safety and environmental protection.

Section 7: Handling and Storage

Section 7 of an SDS addresses safe handling and storage of chemicals. It encompasses:

1. Handling guidelines:
   – Safe handling procedures
   – Management of incompatible chemicals
   – Techniques to minimize environmental release
   – Workplace hygiene practices (eating, drinking, smoking restrictions)

2. Storage requirements:
   – Optimal storage conditions
   – Chemical incompatibilities
   – Specific storage needs

This section provides essential information for maintaining chemical safety throughout handling and storage processes. It aims to prevent accidents, reduce environmental impact, and ensure proper chemical management in the workplace.

Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Section 8 of an SDS focuses on exposure controls and personal protection. It includes:

1. Exposure limits:
   – OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
   – ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs)
   – Other recommended safety limits
   – Manufacturer or importer-specific exposure limits

2. Exposure control methods:
   – Appropriate engineering controls
   – Personal protective measures

3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
   – Recommended PPE types
   – Special requirements for protective clothing
   – Respirator specifications
   – Material and resistance requirements for PPE

This section aims to prevent harmful chemical exposure by providing guidelines on safe exposure levels and protective measures. It helps employers and workers implement appropriate safeguards to minimize health risks associated with chemical handling.

Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties

Section 9 of an SDS details the physical and chemical properties of a substance. It includes:

1. Required properties:
   – Appearance
   – Odor and odor threshold
   – pH
   – Melting/freezing point
   – Initial boiling point and range
   – Flash point
   – Evaporation rate
   – Flammability (solid, gas)
   – Upper/lower flammability or explosive limits
   – Vapor pressure
   – Relative density
   – Solubility
   – Partition coefficient: n-octanol/water
   – Auto-ignition temperature
   – Decomposition temperature
   – Viscosity

2. Additional information:
   – Manufacturers may include other relevant properties (e.g., dust deflagration index for combustible dust)

3. Completeness:
   – All fields must be addressed
   – If information is unavailable or irrelevant, a notation must be made

This section provides crucial data for understanding the substance’s behavior and potential hazards. It aids in proper handling, storage, and emergency response planning.

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity

Section 10 of an SDS provides information on chemical stability and reactivity. It contains three main parts:

1. Reactivity:
   – Specific test data for the chemical or its class/family

2. Chemical Stability:
   – Stability under normal ambient conditions during storage and handling
   – Required stabilizers, if any
   – Safety concerns related to physical appearance changes

3. Hazardous Reactions and Incompatibilities:
   – Potential for hazardous reactions or polymerization
   – Conditions that may trigger hazardous reactions
   – Conditions to avoid
   – Incompatible material classes
   – Known or anticipated hazardous decomposition products

This section helps users understand the chemical’s behavior under various conditions, potential risks, and necessary precautions. It aids in safe handling, storage, and use of the chemical, while also informing about possible hazardous situations that may arise.

Section 11: Toxicological Information

Section 11 of an SDS details toxicological and health effects information. It covers:

1. Exposure routes:
   – Inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, eye contact
   – Unknown routes must be indicated

2. Symptom description:
   – Range from least to most severe exposures

3. Health effects:
   – Immediate and delayed effects
   – Consequences of short-term and long-term exposure

4. Toxicity data:
   – Numerical measures (e.g., median lethal dose)

5. Carcinogenicity status:
   – Listing in NTP Report on Carcinogens
   – IARC Monographs classification
   – OSHA carcinogen designation

This section provides crucial health risk information associated with chemical exposure. It helps users understand potential health hazards, recognize symptoms, and take appropriate precautions when handling the substance.

Section 12: Ecological Information (non-mandatory)

Section 12 of an SDS, while not mandatory, provides valuable ecological information. It includes:

1. Environmental impact data:
   – Results from aquatic and terrestrial toxicity tests
   – Persistence and degradability in the environment
   – Bioaccumulation potential (including Kow and BCF references when available)
   – Soil to groundwater mobility
   – Other adverse effects (e.g., ozone layer depletion)

This section helps assess the potential environmental consequences of chemical release. It aids in understanding the substance’s behavior in ecosystems, its long-term effects, and its potential to accumulate in food chains. This information is crucial for proper chemical management and environmental protection strategies.

Section 13: Disposal Considerations (non-mandatory)

Section 13 of an SDS provides guidance on disposal considerations for the chemical and its container. It includes:

1. Disposal methods:
   – Recommended disposal techniques
   – Appropriate disposal containers
   – Recycling or reclamation options

2. Disposal precautions:
   – Effects of physical and chemical properties on disposal
   – Warnings against sewage disposal
   – Special precautions for landfill or incineration disposal

3. Safety considerations:
   – Safe handling practices during disposal
   – Reference to Section 8 for exposure controls and personal protection

This section ensures proper and environmentally responsible disposal of the chemical and its container, minimizing potential hazards to human health and the environment during the disposal process.

Section 14: Transport Information (DOT, IATA, IMDG)

Section 14 of an SDS, though non-mandatory, provides essential information for the safe transportation of hazardous chemicals. It covers:

1. Identification:
   – UN number
   – UN proper shipping name

2. Classification:
   – Transport hazard class(es)
   – Packing group number (based on hazard degree)

3. Environmental considerations:
   – Potential environmental hazards during transport

4. Transport guidance:
   – Bulk transport instructions
   – Special precautions for employees during transportation

This section aids in compliance with transportation regulations and ensures proper handling during shipping by road, air, rail, or sea (49 cfr, IATA, IMDG). It helps prevent accidents and minimizes risks associated with the movement of hazardous materials both within and outside premises.

Section 15: Regulatory Information

Section 15 of an SDS provides supplementary regulatory information not covered elsewhere in the document. It includes:

1. Specific regulations:
   – Safety, health, and environmental regulations pertinent to the product

2. Regulatory bodies:
   – Relevant regulations from agencies such as OSHA, DOT, EPA, and CPSC

3. Regional considerations:
   – Location-specific regulatory information

This section ensures users are aware of all applicable regulations governing the chemical’s use, handling, and disposal. It helps organizations maintain compliance with various regulatory requirements and provides a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape surrounding the product.

SDS Section 16: Other Information

Section 16 of an SDS serves as a concluding section, providing key administrative details and additional information. It includes:

1. Document history:
   – Date of SDS preparation
   – Date of the most recent revision

2. Revision details:
   – Changes made in the latest update
   – Explanation of modifications from previous versions

3. Supplementary information:
   – Any relevant data not fitting into other sections

This section ensures users have the most up-to-date information and helps track the SDS’s revision history. It also provides a space for including any pertinent details that don’t fall under the other 15 sections, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the chemical and its associated safety considerations.