Format and Sections of the GHS SDS
As explained in the previous blog, one of the characteristics of the GHS SDS is the standardization of sections and section titles. Chapter 1.5.3 (part 1) of the UN’s official publication of the GHS (revision 4) specifies the SDS format. Here is a summary of the GHS SDS headings, along with some explanations:
Section 1: Identification of the substance or mixture and of the supplier. Includes GHS product identifier, recommended use and restrictions on use, supplier’s details, and emergency phone number.
Section 2: Hazards identification. Includes GHS classification, GHS label elements, and other hazards not resulting in classification or not covered by GHS.
Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients. Includes information on chemical ingredients, such as chemical identity and concentrations.
Section 4: First aid measures. Includes description of necessary measures, most important symptoms/effects, and indication of immediate medical attention and special treatment needed.
Section 5: Firefighting measures. Includes suitable extinguishing techniques, specific hazards from fire, and special protective equipment and precautions for firefighters.
Section 6: Accidental release measures. Includes precautions, protective equipment, emergency procedures, environmental precautions, and methods for containment and cleanup.
Section 7: Handling and storage. Includes precautions for safe handling, and conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities.
Section 8: Exposure controls/personal protection. Includes occupational exposure limits or biological exposure limits, appropriate engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Section 9: Physical and chemical properties. Includes the chemical’s characteristics (appearance, odor, pH, flash point, vapor pressure, etc.).
Section 10: Stability and reactivity. Includes reactivity, chemical stability, possible hazardous reactions, conditions to avoid, incompatible materials, and hazardous decomposition products.
Section 11: Toxicological information. Includes routes of exposure, related symptoms, acute and chronic effects, and numerical measures of toxicity.
Section 12: Ecological information. Includes ecotoxicity, persistence and degradability, bioaccumulative potential, mobility in soil, and other adverse effects.
Section 13: Disposal considerations. Includes description of waste residues, and information on their safe handling and methods of disposal.
Section 14: Transport information. Includes UN number, UN proper shipping name, transport hazard classes, packing group, environmental hazards, transport in bulk, and special precautions.
Section 15: Regulatory information. Includes safety, health and environmental regulations specific for the product in question.
Section 16: Other information. Includes information on the preparation and revision of the SDS.
More information on the GHS SDS format and sections is available on the UN GHS site, or from local authorities of countries that adopted GHS. It is important to note that each country that has adopted GHS could have specific SDS guidelines that must also be followed (e.g. REACH requirements in the EU, ACGIH Threshold Limit Values and OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits in the U.S.).
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