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Material Safety Data Sheets

MSDS what you need to know

about them
Before you go any further, it would be
helpful to download:
Data sheet (click here) to view the data
sheet you will need to be in slide show, press
This product, used as an example, is a
commercial cleaning product containing some
hazardous chemicals
What do MSDSs contain?
Identification of the product

Teepol Aluminium Cleaner

- sales unit and stock code
- address and contact details for the supplier
What do MSDSs contain?

Composition/ information on ingredients. (Exact

formulations & details of non-hazardous components not required
protects from rival manufacturers)

CAS & EINECS are identifications codes

Risk phrases (from CHIP data- see later)

Alcohol Ethoxylate <1%

Phosphoric acid 15 30%
Benzotriazole <1%
Formaldehyde <1%
What do MSDSs contain?
Hazards identified (i.e. those known about when
the product is used in the way the manufacturer

Irritating to eye and skin

Large amounts could be hazardous to aquatic
What do MSDSs contain?
First aid measures
Eyes - irrigate with water 10-15 minutes
Skin remove gloves and wash
Ingestions plenty of water to drink
(This is incorrect - should be small sips!!)
Inhalation- remove to fresh air

Always check out first aid information with

your Departmental First Aider or Safety
What do MSDSs contain?
Fire fighting measures

The material is non-flammable

If involved in a fire anyway, it may produce
hydrogen chloride (an acid gas)

Breathing apparatus is relevant

to the Fire Service not us!
What do MSDSs contain?
Measures for spillage or accidental release
contain with sand or earth
Beware of slipping hazard
Do not allow to go down the drains (report
any significant leakage down the drains to the water authorities take

You will need to ensure that your

department stocks appropriate materials to
deal with these incidents.
What do MSDSs contain?
Handling and storage

Store away from food

Tightly closed containers
Away from children
At temperatures between 5oC & 30oC
Shelf life 1 year

In this case, largely common sense

information but for some products it could
be more critical
What do MSDSs contain?
Exposure controls &/or personal protective
equipment (PPE)

These are standard safety signs denoting the need to

wear gloves, face shield and protective clothing.

NB It does not tell you what sort of gloves are

appropriate. You would need to find this out by
consulting a gloves manufacturer regarding the
hazardous materials in the product see the
Guidance section of Safety Services website
What do MSDSs contain?
Physical & Chemical Properties
Appearance what it looks like
pH acidity/alkalinity of the product a pH
of <1 denotes significant acidity
Flash point it is not flammable
Density (>1 means it is more dense than
In terms of hazard, both high pHs (strong alkali) and low
pHs (strong acid) are nasty. For substances with pHs
around 7 acidity & alkalinity are not generally a problem.
What do MSDSs contain?
Stability & reactivity
No stability concerns it wont go off
Avoid contact with strong oxidisers, chlorine
& chlorine products nasty gases possible
Contact with some alloys may produce
hydrogen explosion potential because of
low pH! (but not in normal use)
What do MSDSs contain?
Toxicological information (what nasty things will it
do to you?)

Irritating to organic tissue (skin & eyes)

Inhalation of aerosol may cause irritation
Ingestion irritation to mouth & digestive tract (its
a strong acid)
Eye contact may cause severe irritation (acid again!)
Skin contact irritation!

Connected with first aid information here, but in

some circumstances, may give details of longer term
medical problems, where appropriate
What do MSDSs contain?
Ecological information
How environmentally friendly is it?
Biodegrades does not remain in soil etc
Dont release into surface waters
eg detergents can cause unsightly rivers and may
affect waterproofing of water birds
What do MSDSs contain?
Disposal considerations
Use suitable PPE (see previous information)
Rinse out containers
Dont allow to enter drains
Dispose of according to local regulations
Do not mix with other waste

This is not as formidable as it

sounds a bit of advice from Safety Services
or Estates will help
What do MSDSs contain?
Transport information

Where substances need special consideration

for transport, it will be detailed here usually
only applicable to larger quantities
What do MSDSs contain?
Regulatory information
Irritant to eyes and skin
Keep away from children
First aid information

These are risk phrases associated with the

CHIP regulations simple advice phrases
There may also be symbols as here ,
indicating irritant.
Risk phrases - examples
R1: Explosive when dry R20: Harmful by inhalation
R2: Risk of explosion by shock, friction, fire or R21: Harmful in contact with skin
other sources of ignition R22: Harmful if swallowed
R3: Extreme risk of explosion by shock, R23: Toxic by inhalation
friction, fire or other sources of ignition R24: Toxic in contact with skin
R4: Forms very sensitive explosive metallic R25: Toxic if swallowed
R26: Very toxic by inhalation
R5: Heating may cause an explosion
R27: Very toxic in contact with skin
R6: Explosive with or without contact with air
R28: Very toxic if swallowed
R7: May cause fire
R29: Contact with water liberates toxic gas.
R8: Contact with combustible material may
cause fire R30: Can become highly flammable in use
R9: Explosive when mixed with combustible R31: Contact with acids liberates toxic gas
material R32: Contact with acids liberates very toxic
R10: Flammable gas
R11: Highly flammable Up to: -
R12: Extremely flammable R66: Repeated exposure may cause skin
dryness or cracking
R14: Reacts violently with water
R67: Vapours may cause drowsiness and
R15: Contact with water liberates extremely dizziness
flammable gases
R68: Possible risk of irreversible effects
What do MSDSs contain?
Other information (variable)

In this case it tells you its immediate

application and how to use it
MSDSs are NOT Risk Assessments!
They make no distinction between a gram
and a tonne of a substance.
When using substances you must carry out a
risk assessment but use the information in
MDSDs to help you.
Controls should be proportional to risk!
Not all MSDSs contain comprehensive.
information, although they should have!
If in doubt, always consult an expert.