Material Safety Data Sheets

This module covers the fundamentals of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • State the purpose of MSDSs.
  • List the mandatory information required in MSDSs.
  • State your right as an employee to access and use MSDSs.

MSDS – The Source of Information

The Material Safety Data Sheet is the primary source of information about hazardous chemicals used in your work site. Your employer is required to have an MSDS for every hazardous chemical used or stored at your work site, and to make it available for review on request.

Material Safety Data Sheets repeat the hazard information required on a product's label, however, MSDSs are also required to specify other information such as emergency and clean-up procedures, chemical names, and a phone number for the manufacturer or importer.

Specifics in Your Workplace

Your supervisor or trainer should review with you the specific MSDSs or other information sheets for the chemicals and materials used in your workplace. This review should occur before you use or are exposed to a toxic substance and during annual Right-to-Know classroom training.

The following aspects of the MSDS or other information sheet must be covered:

  • Physical and health hazards of chemicals present in your workplace.
  • Methods and observations you can use to identify hazardous chemicals, such as appearance and odor.
  • Procedures for handling the product to protect against hazards, including personal protective equipment, work practices, and emergency procedures.
  • The location of MSDSs or other information sheets at your work site, and how you may obtain and use appropriate hazard information.

As part of this online training, your supervisor or trainer will be required to provide the information described below.

The arrangement of information on the MSDSs may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but all MSDS' must contain the eight basic elements described on the following screens.

Required Information

Listed below are descriptions of the information items required on an MSDS, followed by a sample MSDS.

  1. Identity of the chemical, the name and address of the manufacturer, phone numbers for use in emergencies or to obtain more information, and the date on which the MSDS was prepared.Please note: The date is particularly important in making sure the information contained in the MSDS is fully up to date, as required by law.
  2. Identity of the hazardous ingredients and properties of the chemical. This section also includes the identity as well as the common name and trade name of the chemical.If an exposure limit has been established, it must be given.
    1. PEL (Permissible Exposure Level) is the level accepted by OSHA.
    2. TLV (Threshold Limit Value) is the level established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
    3. There may be other limits issued. If the limits differ, then the lowest recommended level is the one that should be followed.
  3. The physical and chemical characteristics of the substance, including the boiling point, vapor pressure and density, solubility in water, appearance and odor, evaporation rate, and melting point.
  4. Fire and explosion hazard data, including the flash point of the substance, flammable limits, extinguishing media, and special fire fighting procedures.
  5. The conditions that can cause the substance to react dangerously, including data on the stability of the substance and conditions to avoid, its incompatibility with other materials, and any hazardous decomposition properties or by-products associated with it. This section also supplies data on conditions that would cause this chemical to polymerize or break up and release hazardous chemicals into the work environment.
  6. The acute and chronic health hazards associated with the chemical, its routes of entry into the body (whether through the skin, inhalation, or ingestion), signs and symptoms of exposure, target organs, emergency first aid procedures, whether there is an OSHA regulation on the chemical, carcinogenicity (cancer causing capacity) and medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure.
  7. The precautions for safe handling and use of the chemical, such as steps to be taken in case the material is released or spilled, waste disposal methods, and precautions to be taken in storing.
  8. Control measures needed to protect employees from exposure to the chemical. These measures include personal protective equipment (respirators, gloves, etc.); engineering controls (ventilation, etc.) and work practices.

Example of a MSDS

The chemical BUTOXYETHANOL can be found in common household window cleaner and some paints
HazCom Chemical Corp., Inc.
Anywhere Street

Anytown, NY, USA 22222
Plant Number (323) 111-1111
Administrative Offices (323) 222-2222
For MSDS’s contact (800) 000-0000
MSDS Number: B6100 --- Effective Date: 12/08/96

Synonyms: Butyl cellosolve(tm); Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether
CAS No.: 111-76-2
Molecular Weight: 118.18
Chemical Formula: HOCH2CH2OC4H9
Product Codes: J.T. Baker: D648, D649 Mallinckrodt: 2138

Ingredient CAS No Percent Hazardous
-------------------------- --------- --------- --------
2-Butoxyethanol 111-76-2 99 - 100% Yes

Emergency Overview
J.T. Baker SAF-T-DATA(tm) Ratings
(Provided here for your convenience)
Health Rating: 2 - Moderate
Flammability Rating: 2 - Moderate
Reactivity Rating: 1 - Slight
Contact Rating: 3 - Severe (Life)
Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES & SHIELD; LAB COAT &
Storage Color Code: Red (Flammable)
Potential Health Effects
Inhalation: Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include sore throat, coughing, headache, nausea and shortness of breath. High concentrations have a narcotic effect.

Ingestion: Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Toxic! May cause systemic poisoning with symptoms paralleling those of inhalation.

Skin Contact: May cause irritation with redness and pain. May be absorbed through the skin with possible systemic effects.

Eye Contact: Vapors are irritating and may produce immediate pain, redness and tearing. Splashes can cause severe pain, stinging and swelling.

Chronic Exposure: Prolonged or repeated exposures can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lymphoid system, blood and blood-forming organs.

Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: Persons with pre-existing skin disorders, eye problems, impaired liver, kidney, blood, respiratory or lymphoid system function may be more susceptible to the effects of the substance.

Inhalation: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Call a physician immediately.

Ingestion: Induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Call a physician immediately.

Skin Contact: Immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Call a physician immediately. Wash clothing before reuse.

Eye Contact: Immediately flush eyes with gentle but large stream of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally. Call a physician immediately.

Fire: Flash point: 62C (144F) Autoignition temperature: 238C (460F) Flammable limits in air % by volume: lel: 1.1; uel: 12.7 Combustible Liquid.

Explosion: Above flash point, vapor-air mixtures are explosive within flammable limits noted above. Vapors can flow along surfaces to distant ignition source and flash back. Contact with strong oxidizers may cause fire. Sensitive to static discharge.

Fire Extinguishing Media: Dry chemical, alcohol foam or carbon dioxide. Do not use a solid stream of water, since the stream will scatter and spread the fire. Water spray may be used to keep fire-exposed containers cool, dilute spills to nonflammable mixtures, protect personnel attempting to stop leak and disperse vapors.

Special Information: In the event of a fire, wear full protective clothing and NIOSH-approved self-contained breathing apparatus with full face piece operated in the pressure demand or other positive pressure mode.

- Ventilate area of leak or spill. Remove all sources of ignition. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment as specified in Section 9. Isolate hazard area. Keep unnecessary and unprotected personnel from entering. Contain and recover liquid when possible. Use non-sparking tools and equipment. Collect liquid in an appropriate container or absorb with an inert material (e. g., vermiculite, dry sand, earth), and place in a chemical waste container. Do not use combustible materials, such as saw dust. Do not flush to sewer! If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to disperse the vapors, to protect personnel attempting to stop leak, and to flush spills away from exposures. J. T. Baker SOLUSORB(tm) solvent adsorbent is recommended for spills of this product.

7. HANDLING AND STORAGE - Protect against physical damage. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location, away from any area where the fire hazard may be acute. Outside or detached storage is preferred. Separate from oxidizing materials. Containers should be bonded and grounded for transfers to avoid static sparks. Storage and use areas should be No Smoking areas. Containers of this material may be hazardous when empty since they retain product residues (vapors, liquid); observe all warnings and precautions listed for the product.

8. DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS - Whatever cannot be saved for recovery or recycling should be managed in an appropriate and approved waste disposal facility. Processing, use or contamination of this product may change the waste management options. State and local disposal regulations may differ from federal disposal regulations. Dispose of container and unused contents in accordance with federal, state and local requirements.
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Airborne Exposure Limits:
-OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL): 50 ppm skin -ACGIH Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 25 ppm (TWA) skin

Ventilation System: A system of local and/or general exhaust is recommended to keep employee exposures below the Airborne Exposure Limits. Local exhaust ventilation is generally preferred because it can control the emissions of the contaminant at its source, preventing dispersion of it into the general work area. Please refer to the ACGIH document, Industrial Ventilation, A Manual of Recommended Practices, most recent edition, for details.

Personal Respirators (NIOSH Approved): If the exposure limit is exceeded, a full face piece respirator with organic vapor cartridge may be worn up to 50 times the exposure limit or the maximum use concentration specified by the appropriate regulatory agency or respirator supplier, whichever is lowest. For emergencies or instances where the exposure levels are not known, use a full-face piece positive-pressure, air-supplied respirator. WARNING: Air purifying respirators do not protect workers in oxygen-deficient atmospheres. This compound possibly exists in both particulate and vapor phase. A dust/mist prefilter should be used for the particulate.

Skin Protection: Wear impervious protective clothing, including boots, gloves, lab coat, apron or coveralls, as appropriate, to prevent skin contact.

Eye Protection: Use chemical safety goggles and/or a full face shield where splashing is possible. Maintain eye wash fountain and quick-drench facilities in work area.

Appearance: Clear, colorless liquid.
Odor: Mild odor.
Solubility: Soluble in water.
Specific Gravity: 0.90 @ 20C/4C
pH: No information found.
% Volatiles by volume @ 21C (70F): 100

Boiling Point: 171C (340F)
Melting Point: -70C (-94F)
Vapor Density (Air=1): 4.07
Vapor Pressure (mm Hg): 0.8 @ 20C (68F)
Evaporation Rate (BuAc=1): 0.07

Stability: Stable under ordinary conditions of use and storage.
Hazardous Decomposition Products: Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide may form when heated to decomposition.
Hazardous Polymerization: Will not occur.
Incompatibilities: Strong oxidizers, strong bases. May attack metallic aluminum at high temperatures.
Conditions to Avoid: Heat, flames, ignition sources and incompatibles.

Toxicological Data:
Oral rat LD50: 470 mg/kg; Inhalation rat LC50: 450ppm/4H; Skin rabbit LD50: 220 mg/kg; investigated as a tumorigen,
mutagen, reproductive effector

Reproductive Toxicity: Has shown teratogenic effects in laboratory animals.

Cancer Lists

---NTP Carcinogen---
Known Ingredient --- 2-Butoxyethanol (111-76-2)
Anticipated --- No
IARC --- No
Category --- None

Environmental Fate: When released into the soil, this material is not expected to evaporate significantly. When released into the soil, this material may leach into groundwater. When released into the soil, this material may biodegrade to a moderate extent. When released into water, this material is not expected to evaporate significantly. When released into water, this material may biodegrade to a moderate extent. This material has an estimated bioconcentration factor (BCF) of less than 100. This material is not expected to significantly bioaccumulate. When released into the air, this material is expected to be readily degraded by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. When released into the air, this material is expected to have a half-life of less than 1 day.

Environmental Toxicity: The LC50/96-hour values for fish are over 100 mg/l. This material is not expected to be toxic to aquatic life.

Domestic (Land, D.O.T.)
Proper Shipping Name: TOXIC LIQUID, ORGANIC, N.O.S.
Hazard Class: 6.1
UN/NA: UN2810
Packing Group: III
Information reported for product/size: 20L
International (Water, I.M.O.)
Proper Shipping Name: TOXIC LIQUID, ORGANIC, N.O.S.
Hazard Class: 6.1
UN/NA: UN2810
Packing Group: III
Information reported for product/size: 20L
International (Air, I.C.A.O.)
Proper Shipping Name: TOXIC LIQUID, ORGANIC, N.O.S.
Hazard Class: 6.1
UN/NA: UN2810
Packing Group: III
Information reported for product/size: 20L


--------\Chemical Inventory Status - Part 1\--------------------------- Ingredient TSCA EC Japan Australia
-------------------------- --------- --------- -------- --------
2-Butoxyethanol(111-76-2) Yes Yes Yes Yes

--------\Chemical Inventory Status - Part 2\---------------------------
Ingredient Korea DSL NDSL Phil.
-------------------------- --------- --------- -------- --------
2-Butoxyethanol(111-76-2) Yes Yes No Yes

\Federal, State & International Regulations - Part 1\------------
-SARA 302 ---- SARA 313---
Ingredient RQ TPQ List Chemical Catg.
-------------------------- -------- ------ ----- -----------------
2-Butoxyethanol(111-76-2) No No No No

\Federal, State & International Regulations - Part 2\-----------

Ingredient CERLA 261.33 8(d)
-------------------------- -------- ------ -----
2-Butoxyethanol(111-76-2) No No Yes

Chemical Weapons Convention: No
TSCA 12(b): No CDTA: No
SARA 311/312: Acute: Yes
Chronic: Yes Fire: Yes Pressure: No
Reactivity: No (Pure / Liquid)
Australian Hazchem Code: 2R
Poison Schedule: No information found.

WHMIS: - This MSDS has been prepared according to the hazard criteria of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and the MSDS contains all of the information required by the CPR