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The Anatomy of a Safety Data Sheet

The Anatomy of a Safety Data Sheet

The purpose of a safety data sheet is to keep everyone safe.

The safety data sheet, or SDS, is a sheet containing hazard information for chemicals. OSHA regulations state that every hazardous chemical must have an SDS and that every container that holds a hazardous chemical must be properly labeled. The purpose of a safety data sheet is to make sure that employers and employees know exactly what the hazards are of certain substances and what to do in case of an emergency.

Every safety data sheet contains the same information organized in a certain way. Here is a brief overview of each section.


This identifies the supplier and the substance or mixture of substances in the container. This section also contains an emergency contact number for the supplier.

Hazard(s) Information

  • GHS substance classification
  • GHS label elements
  • Any other hazards not covered by the GHS classification

Composition/Information on Ingredients


  • Chemical identity
  • Chemical’s common name and any applicable synonyms
  • CAS number and any other unique identifiers
  • Impurities and any chemicals used for stabilization


This identifies the chemical and concentration of any and all other hazardous ingredients.

First-Aid Measures

  • Describes necessary precautions, subdivided according to route of exposure (inhalation, skin/ eye contact, ingestion)
  • Important symptoms and effects, and whether those are immediate or delayed
  • Indicates any necessary medical attention and/or special treatment if applicable

Fire-Fighting Measures

  • How to extinguish
  • Hazards that may arise should the substance be set on fire
  • Any necessary special protection equipment for fire fighters

Accidental Release Measures

  • In the event of an accidental release, this section lists necessary PPE, personal precautions, and emergency procedures.
  • Necessary environmental precautions
  • In the event of a spill, how to clean up and what to use

Handling and Storage

  • Safe handling precautions
  • Safe storage conditions, including any substances it should be kept away from

Exposure Controls/ Personal Protection

  • Exposure limit values
  • Engineering controls
  • Individual protection measures (i.e. PPE)

Physical and Chemical Properties

This section contains anything and everything about the physical and chemical properties of the substance, including:

Appearance (physical state, color etc.), odor, odor threshold, pH, melting and freezing points, initial boiling point and range, flash point, evaporation rate, flammability (solid, gas), upper and lower flammability or explosive limits, vapor pressure, vapor density, relative density, solubility(ies), partition coefficient, auto-ignition temperature, decomposition temperature, and viscosity.

Stability and Reactivity

This section contains information about how stable or reactive a substance is.

Toxicological Information

Provides a complete description of the various health effects and describes what data what used to identify those effects.

Ecological Information

  • Ecotoxicity
  • Persistence and degradability
  • Bioaccumulative potential
  • Mobility in the soil
  • Other adverse effects

Disposal Considerations

Describes waste residues and how to safely handle and dispose of waste and any contaminated packaging.

Transport Information

This section is all about the safe transportation of the substance.

Regulatory Information

Safety, health and environmental regulations specific to the substance contained

Other Information

Any necessary additional information


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This entry was posted on Friday, July 28th, 2017 at 12:11 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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