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HOW TO READ MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS
SECTION 1 – Material Identification
The name of the product and name, address, and emergency telephone number of manufacturer are provided.
SECTION 2 – Hazardous Ingredients/Identity Information
This section contains a list of all the hazardous ingredients which make up more than 1% of the mixture (or .1% for cancer-causing substances). They also list the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for each hazardous ingredient and Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
SECTION 3 – Physical/Chemical Characteristics
Physical and chemical characteristics include the chemical’s appearance and odor, along with physical properties that indicate how easily a chemical will evaporate and release potentially harmful vapors into the air.
SECTION 4 – Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
This section will provide information on the fire hazards of a product and special precautions necessary to extinguish a fire.
FLASH POINT= if a material has a flash point less than 100° it is flammable; if it’s flash point is between 100-200° it is considered to be combustible and they both have special handling and storage precautions.
SECTION 5 – Reactivity Data
This describes the reaction of chemicals when they are mixed together with other chemicals, or when stored or handled improperly.
SECTION 6 – Health Hazard Data
This section describes the health effects of the product, including signs and symptoms of exposure and medical conditions mad worse by exposure. Acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) effects of the exposure as well as routes of entry (inhalation, skin contact, swallowing) are also included.
SECTION 7 – Precautions for Safe Handling and Use (Spill or Leak Procedures)
This section contains information on proper equipment to use and what precaution to follow if a spill or leak occurs. It also describes safe waste disposal methods and precautions to be taken in handling and storing.
SECTION 8 – Control Measures
Lists control measures that can reduce or eliminate the hazard, including ventilation and other engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment. Also contains information on the appropriate filter cartridge for respirators and the correct type of glove to be used if necessary.
Thanks to Andrea Rowe for contributing this topic.
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