Common Errors in the Preparation of Chemical Safety Technical Data Sheets (MSDS Reports)

Common errors in MSDS preparation

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1. What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) report?

An MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) is a document that outlines the physical and chemical properties of a chemical product (such as pH value, flash point, flammability, reactivity, etc.), the hazards it poses to users (such as carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, etc.), environmental hazards, as well as safety use, leak emergency treatment, legal regulations, and other information. It is an important document for conveying information about chemical hazards. It is a comprehensive legal document that chemical manufacturers or sellers are required by law to provide to customers regarding the characteristics of the chemicals.

2. Common errors in the preparation of MSDS reports for chemical safety technical instructions

1. Formatting errors

The overall format of the MSDS does not conform to the regulations of the corresponding importing country. Many SDSs still tend to treat the second part as component information, and the third part as classification information. Unless there are special regulations, under the GHS rules, the second part of the SDS is usually classification information, and the third part is component information. The overall format has 16 items, and the sub-categories should be in accordance with the regulations of the importing country, and detailed according to the related SDS format regulations.

2. Unclear classification information

The harmful classification information of the product is not clearly stated. The classification of substances or mixtures should be detailed according to the “Coding of Hazard Statements, Protection Statements, and Usage” in Annex 3 of the GHS rules. The harmful classification should correspond to the hazard statements.

3. Physical and Chemical Parameters

Information in Part 9 is important for the classification of physical hazards of the substance or mixture, such as flash point, boiling point, viscosity, etc. It should be filled in as detailed as possible.

4. Data Sources

Part 11 and Part 12 require toxicological data to be provided if available. If there are other health hazard classifications, the data source should be indicated. The hazard classification information should be consistent with Part 2.

SDS and MSDS verification is a report that requires a high level of expertise and involves a series of data, such as toxicological data, physical and chemical parameters, eco-friendly data, workplace exposure limits, etc. Generally speaking, for a single compound, there are known reference data or can be obtained from relevant reference databases. However, many report data are overly vague.

For example, if the product is a liquid and flammable, important information should be provided for the physical and chemical parameters in Part 9, such as flash point and explosion limit. The eco-friendly data in Part 12 should also be specified.

For many objects, such as daily necessities like pure cotton towels, small toys, slippers, etc., which are not strictly considered as chemical products, it is difficult to provide corresponding data. In such cases, the corresponding data can be omitted.

5. Regulatory Information

The regulatory information of the substance or mixture involved in the importing country should be listed, and applicable internationally recognized regulations should be explained, indicating the hazards associated with the substance or mixture.

When compiling SDS and MSDS certification reports, it is necessary to establish the standards required by the customers. Common standards for SDS and MSDS certification reports include the GHS-specific SDS standard, the SDS standard formulated by the REACH Regulation 1907/2006, the MSDS standard formulated by ISO 11014, and the MSDS standard formulated by ANSI. Many manufacturers or companies usually indicate a certain standard when compiling MSDS or SDS, but many parts of the report may also comply with other standards.

Incorrect: The report indicates that it is compiled according to the reference of the REACH regulations 1907/2006, but the classification of adverse effects in the second item of the report is based on the GHS standard.

The standards or regulations for verification of SDS and MSDS are not fixed and may be upgraded frequently, so it is necessary to pay attention to them immediately. For example, regulations for transportation, ICAO, IMO, etc. are upgraded every 2 years, so it is necessary to refer to the latest regulations when introducing or classifying according to regulations.

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