OSHA Standard: 1910.1200 Hazard Communication
Material Safety Data Sheets
A MSDS is a short technical report that explains how to use, handle and store chemicals safely. There is no standard form used for a MSDS, but they all give the same basic kinds of information. Each MSDS contains the following sections:
Section I: Identity
The first section of the MSDS contains the chemical name or trade names and the manufacture of the materials. The chemical identification of the material or CAS number (an identifier designated by Chemical Abstract Services) is also given. An emergency telephone number is provided to aid in emergency treatment or clean up of a spill.
Section II: Hazardous Ingredients
The Hazardous Ingredients section lists the Threshold Limit Value (TLV), which measures the toxicity of the material. Some categories will have no information in which case an “NA” will appear for not applicable.
Section III: Physical/Chemical Characteristics
Detailed information on the material’s physical and chemical characteristics is provided here, including appearance and odor.
Section IV: Fire and Explosion
This section tells you how to extinguish fires and includes any special fire fighting procedures and the flash point. The flash point is the temperature at which the material gives off enough vapor to burn.
Section V: Reactivity
This section identifies reactive materials. It details what conditions to avoid and what other materials must be kept away from this material to assure safety.
Section VI: Safe Handling and Use
This section covers the precautions to take when using the hazardous material, how to store it safety, and methods for cleaning up spills. Special instructions on waste disposal are also given.
Section VII: Health Hazards
Health concerns are covered here, including the effects of overexposure, and what part of the body is likely to be effected. Some of the effects listed will only apply when exposure is in very high doses. Emergency and first aid information will provide methods for treating overexposure.
Section VIII: Control Measures
This section is provided to protect you from the physical and health effects of the hazardous material. Read this section to know what types of personal protective equipment you need to use such as gloves, clothing, eye protection, respirator or other special protective equipment.