Today is Winning with Women Wednesday and this week we had a post submission from, Azhané Jackson, who is a Chemistry Intern here at MILSPRAY™ which pointed out five sections of Safety Data Sheets that all consumers should be aware of.
In 2012, the Hazard Communication Standard was revised and required Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to be updated to a more user-friendly interface which is known as the Safety Data Sheets (SDS). The United Nations developed the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, where the Globally Harmonized System Safety Data Sheets (SDS) were created. This was to ensure a more uniform format that provides more consistent information for those that may come in contact with chemicals within the workplace as well as at home.
Someone who doesn’t handle chemicals on a regular basis may become overwhelmed with all the information that is within Safety Data Sheets. Not being able to find the information needed to handle the circumstance in a prompt manner can be troublesome when dealing with emergency situations that may arise.
Here are five high priority sections that all consumers should know in order to be prepared for dealing with emergencies and ways to prevent them.
1. (Section 1- Identification)
Within this section, handlers can find the product name and code, the manufacturer location and contact information, an emergency contact number, and recommended and non-recommended uses. The manufacturer’s contact information is essential for users that would like information about the material that may not be found within the Safety Data Sheet. When an emergency arises, an emergency contact number is provided, and since the material’s name and code is provided within the same section, it makes it easier to pass on the information to emergency responders.
2. (Section 4- First-Aid Measures)
This section focuses on how first responders should properly handle the situation when an individual is contaminated through the likely routes of exposure (eye contact, skin contact, ingestion, and inhalation). Details of how to provide care are explained, telling responders what to do and what to avoid. For example, dealing with an individual that has been affected through skin contact, the Safety Data Sheet may advise against using any solvents and may make other suggestions on how to deal with the situation promptly. Also, any treatments and considerations physicians should know about are also indicated.
3. (Section 5-Fire Fighting Measures)
Not all fires can be extinguished in the same way. This section provides information on what can and cannot be used to extinguish the fire as well as describing hazards that may arise from the fire occurring. Suitable firefighting equipment, and the ways of protecting firefighters are also contained in this section. Knowing this information can prevent further harm, and injuries.
4. (Section 7-Handling and Storage)
Provided in this section is the information on how to properly handle the material and the ideal conditions for storing the product. This section includes the proper protective equipment to be used, who should and should not handle the material, conditions to be avoided while using the product, and the proper ways of storing the product when the product is not in use.
5. (Section 10-Stability and Reactivity)
This section tells handlers if the product is stable under normal conditions, and what conditions may lead to instability. Other important information includes: materials the product would react with, conditions to be avoided when dealing with the material, and what will happen when the material decomposes.
Knowing about these important sections can make it easier for handlers that do not have experience with Safety Data Sheets to be better prepared when dealing with emergency situations that may arise when working with a product.
Azhané Jackson is a Chemistry Intern within the Research and Development department at MILSPRAY™. She currently attends Seton Hall University and will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. At MILSPRAY™ she has assisted on many R&D projects including the migration of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to the new Globally Harmonized System Safety Data Sheets (SDS).