Material Safety Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets
Material Safety Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets (MSDS/SDS) are an important source
of health and safety information.
The District currently uses MSDS ONLINE chemical inventory/Material Safety Data Sheet management system to manage MSDS’s/SDS’s. Additional resources are available through Flinn Scientific, Inc. (MSDS SEARCH) and VWR (MSDS SEARCH).
A material safety data sheet (MSDS), safety data sheet (SDS) or product safety
data sheet (PSDS) is an important component of product stewardship and occupational safety and health. It is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures. MSDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements.
The US-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a standard NFPA 704 using a diamond with four colored sections each with a number indicating severity 0—4 (0 for no hazard, 4 indicates a severe hazard). The red section denotes flammability. The blue section denotes health risks. Yellow represents reactivity (tendency to explode). The white section denotes special hazard information. One example of a special hazard would be the capital letter W crossed out (pictured left) indicating it is water reactant. This label is used primarily in the US.