A MSDS may be useful but it can not substitute for prudent practices and comprehensive risk management.
The requirements for MSDSs are found in paragraph (g) of .1200 (See below for the full text of the regulation).
Information included in a Material Safety Data Sheet aids in the selection of safe products, helps you understand the potential health and physical hazards of a chemical and describes how to respond effectively to exposure situations.
Although there is an effort currently underway to standardizes MSDS's the quality of individual MSDS's vary.
If the hazardous chemical is a mixture which has been tested as a whole to determine its hazards, the chemical and common name(s) of the ingredients which contribute to these known hazards, and the common name(s) of the mixture itself; or, The chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards, and which comprise 1% or greater of the composition, except that chemicals identified as carcinogens under paragraph (d) of this section shall be listed if the concentrations are 0.1% or greater; and, The chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards, and which comprise less than 1% (0.1% for carcinogens) of the mixture, if there is evidence that the ingredient(s) could be released from the mixture in concentrations which would exceed an established OSHA permissible exposure limit or ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, or could present a health risk to employees; and, The OSHA permissible exposure limit, ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, and any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, where available; Whether the hazardous chemical is listed in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Annual Report on Carcinogens (latest edition) or has been found to be a potential carcinogen in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest editions), or by OSHA; Any generally applicable precautions for safe handling and use which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, including appropriate hygienic practices, protective measures during repair and maintenance of contaminated equipment, and procedures for clean-up of spills and leaks; Any generally applicable control measures which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, such as appropriate engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment; The name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, employer or other responsible party preparing or distributing the material safety data sheet, who can provide additional information on the hazardous chemical and appropriate emergency procedures, if necessary.
If no relevant information is found for any given category on the material safety data sheet, the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet shall mark it to indicate that no applicable information was found.
Material safety data sheets shall also be made readily available, upon request, to designated representatives and to the Assistant Secretary, in accordance with the requirements of .1020(e).
The Director shall also be given access to material safety data sheets in the same manner.
California Hazard Evaluation and Information Service (HESIS) and University of California, Berkeley, (1996, August).
Answers basic questions and provides an extensive glossary of terms. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration (ORR), (2006, October 23).
Includes a checklist to aid a worker in gathering facts and getting answers regarding chemical exposure in the workplace. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Explains how chemicals can affect the body, what to look for when reading health information, the different types of exposure limits for chemicals in the workplace, tips on how to know if you are exposed, what you can do to reduce exposure, and where to go for additional information. Includes a database of reactivity information for over 6,000 common hazardous chemicals, case histories on specific chemical incidents, with references, and features free, downloadable software to "mix" selected chemicals and predict their reactivity.