Chemical SDS Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

The SDS Safety Data Sheet (formerly known as MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet) is a necessary document for all types of substances that are considered hazardous. The use of products containing these substances without the SDS is prohibited in all professional settings. The obligation is derived from art. 31 of the REACH directive – regulation (CE) no 1907/2006. This extensive document includes descriptions of the hazards of a particular chemical substance or mixture, as well as a description of the physicochemical data of the product. It also warns the user about the dangers of certain products and includes advice on safety precautions. Before you start importing such products, be sure to check if the supplier provides the Safety Data Sheet.

What does the safety data sheet include?
The document provides information to the user, such as the manufacturer, product description, product model, and chemical and physical properties. It also contains safety instructions: fire fighting methods, how the material reacts to damage, safe packaging and shipping, hazards and risks of use, a toxicity report and information on the use of the product.

What is the purpose of SDS?
Safety data sheet (SDS):

informs about the potential hazards of a given substance (mixture)
provides safe ways to use the product
contains methods to minimize risk and appropriate practices in the event of contamination or any other hazardous situation.
In this way, it protects both human health and the environment.

Who should provide the safety data sheet?
The manufacturer, its representative, importer or supplier of a given chemical are responsible for the proper preparation and eventual introduction of the SDS. It includes the technical background, classification and description of the hazards, as well as formal procedures.

REACH regulation
The SDS document is regulated by the European REACH Regulation, which was adopted in the EU to protect the environment and human health from the dangers related to the use of chemicals. These actions are also aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the EU chemical industry. Due to efforts to limit animal testing, the regulation also propagates alternative methods of safety assessment.

According to art. 31 no. 8, a safety data sheet should be made available free of charge on paper or in electronic form no later than the date the substance or mixture is first supplied:

* when a substance or mixture meets the criteria for classification as dangerous according to regulation (EC) No 1272/2008
* when a substance is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very bioaccumulative according to the criteria set out in Annex XIII
* when a substance is included in the list established in accordance with article 59 (1) for reasons other than those mentioned above.

SDS provision requirements
The supplier is obliged to provide the SDS of a chemical substance at the request of the recipient, when the mixture does not meet the criteria for classification as dangerous according to Titles I and II of Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 but includes:

* In an individual concentration of at least 1% by weight for non-gaseous mixtures and at least 0.2% by volume for gaseous mixtures at least one substance representing a danger to human health or the environment

* At an individual concentration of at least 0.1% by weight for non-gaseous mixtures at least one substance that is category 2 carcinogen or category 1A, 1B and 2 reproductive toxicity, category 1 skin sensitizer, category respiratory sensitizer 1, or effects on or through lactation o is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) according to the criteria set out in annex XIII or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) according to the criteria set out in annex XIII or has been included for reasons other than those mentioned above
* A substance for which there are Community workplace exposure limits’.

Safety data sheet – what should you remember?

* It must be updated and completed following the instructions included in the directive on chemicals and their mixtures. In each legal change, in accordance with the guidelines established in the directive on chemical substances and their mixtures, as well as community regulations.)

* When it comes to products destined for foreign markets, the SDS must be prepared and issued in the language of the country in question by those with the relevant qualifications. The translator must have experience in the relevant subject, including chemistry, law, toxicology, etc.

*You must take into account the specific needs and knowledge of your users.
* SDS must comply with EU legislation and the legislation of the country in which the substance or formulation is marketed. The nomenclature used for hazard descriptions is strictly defined in each country. A literal translation does not guarantee compliance with the law)

* The NAFTA countries (the United States, Canada, and Mexico) have regulations similar to the SDS. According to the regulations, an EU businessman is obliged to submit two safety data sheets together with the products when exporting substances to the NAFTA area. The former must meet the EU requirements. The second must be in accordance with ANSI Z.400.1-2004.