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DPCNews 006 - MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Written by Administrator
Saturday, 01 November 2008 16:26

November 2008

How to decipher this important document?

Along the years we were asked a lot of questions about the MSDS.

MSDS must be written according to the ISO 11014-1 Standard issued in March1994 entitled ''Safety data sheet for chemical products-Part 1: Content and order of sections'' to meet the European Directive 91/155/ECC.

This MSDS format contains 16 standardized chapters. Each of them has a specific number.

Though the chapters may be displayed in any order, almost all the chemicals' suppliers use it as it appears in this ISO standard.

It must also be understood that this document is filled-in UNDER THE RESPONSIBILITY of the Supplier, i.e. the Company which supplies you with the chemical; this Company may be a Distributor, and quite often in fact, is not the Manufacturer.

Some of the pieces of information are mandatory; that means they shall be present. Some additional pieces of information may be written if they are not mandatory, just because the Supplier thinks they may be useful to the User.

Many of the pieces of information, shown in so-called "Chapter 2 - Composition/Information on Ingredients'', are mainly understandable by Chemists only and sometimes by Medicine Doctors (M.D.). Sometimes, they are not at all understood by readers and may lead to erroneous interpretation.

Bear in mind that Medicine Doctors are not Chemical Engineers: they are complementary.

As a first example, an MSDS in which some ingredients were "ethylphenols ethoxylates" was "translated" as containing phenol!!! If phenol had been really been in the formula, this would have led to huge troubles !!

The problem is that sometimes, even M.Ds., who are not chemists, are on wrong ways: we have in mind the "hexylene glycol case".

Hexylene glycol is an inappropriate and confusing current name of a chemical which is NOT a glycol ether. Hexylene glycol is in fact the 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol or synonym: 2,4-dihydroxy-2-methylpentane (CAS N° 107-41-5, EC N°603-053-00-3), the chemical formula of which is:

Since the '80s, glycol ethers are targeted, by European Regulations, as being endocrine disruptors. It means that they have some "hormone-like" activity on the human body (it's a bit more complex than that, but we are not here to make a biologist training). In Europe, the chemicals from this family (some 30 products or more) are almost all classified as potentially having some effect on fertility, or on the foetus development (we may think that the US inhabitants are biologically different from the European beings, as our American counterparts are surprised when we want glycol ethers taken out of penetrant materials formula).

Due to its "name", hexylene glycol has been an important issue in very large Companies for years-- Though, once again, it is NOT a glycol ether.

As a second example we may also come to the spray cans propellent, which may be a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used on a massive scale since the banning of CFC (chlorofluorocarbons), HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) and CHFC (chlorohydrofluorocarbons).

This propellent in fact is a mix of propane, n-butane and isobutane with the following CAS/EINECS numbers: CAS N° 68476-86-8, EC N° 270-705-8.

Sometimes, another chemical, 1,3-butadiene, CAS N° 106-99-0, EC N° 203-450-8 is found at a rate up to 0.05%.

As per the European Directive 67/548/CEE, 1,3-butadiene is classified as:

- Cancer inducing: R45 May induce cancer (C1)

- Mutagen: R46 May lead to genetic alterations (Mut 2)

An LPG with less than 0.1% of 1,3-butadiene is NOT classified R45 or R46. This is ALWAYS the situation with spray cans. But these R45 and R46 classifications nevertheless MUST be written in Chapter 2, which is confusing for non-chemists, non M.Ds, as the label does not display any of the sentences!

Just for fun, but also for "education", you will find in this paper the MSDS of an oxygenated solvent.

Please read it carefully. EVERY POINT IS TRUE, every data is right.

Next month, we will give you a very amusing information about this solvent.

Safety Data Sheet for Oxygen Dihydride

Updated: 15. May 2008

1. Identification of substance/Preparation & Company undertaking


Supplier Company:





Emergency Phone:

2. Composition/Information on ingredients

Chemical composition: Primary alcohol type oxygenated solvent.

OXYGEN DIHYDRIDE   CAS N° 7732-18-5   100% w/w

3. Hazards identification

May be fatal if accidentally inhaled. When gaseous, it is a major chemical in acid rains.

4. First aid measures

Inhalation: Move the person to fresh air. Make him (or her) to fresh air. Ask for a physician.

Skin Contact: A long contact leads to an important skin swelling and to turgescence of cells.

Eye contact: Generally without any consequence.

Ingestion: If ingested in large quantity, make the person vomit (if conscious).

5. Fire fighting measures

Not applicable

6. Accidental release measures

Personal Precautions: May make floors extremely slippery, especially when ambient temperature is low.

Environmental Precautions: May carry numerous products along sewers, rivers, ground water.

Decontamination Procedures: If needed using rags then stored in appropriate can.

7. Handling and storage

Handling: Keep from freezing. Do not store above 50 °C. Do not store in the vicinity of strong acids or strong bases.

Storage materials:

- Recommended: Polyethylene, polypropylene, stainless steel

- Do not use: Mild steel.

8. Exposure controls/Personal protection

Individual protection equipment: If large quantities are sprayed, wear a mask and a watertight apron.

Exposure control equipment: Hygrometer- Recommended figure: 40 to 60%.

9. Physical and chemical properties

(Typical Values)

9.1. Appearance: Colourless.

9.2. Odour: None.

9.3. pH: 6.5 to 7.2.

9.4. Boiling Point Range: ca 100 °C at 1,013.25 hPa.

9.5. Melting Point: ca 0 °C

9.6. Flash Point (°C) (PMCC): N/A.

9.7. Auto ignition Point: N/A

9.8. Explosion range limits: N/A.

9.9. Vapour pressure: 2,320 Pa (17.4 mm Hg) at 20 °C.

9.10. Vapour pressure (relative to air): = 1.

9.12. Specific gravity: 1,000 kg/m³.

9.13. VOC (Volatile Organic compounds)content: 0%.

9.14. Solubility: Completely miscible with water.

10. Stability and reactivity

Stability: Stable.

Hazardous Polymerisations: N/A.

Conditions to avoid: Contact with strong acids and strong bases.

Materials to Avoid: Mild steel.

Hazardous Decomposition Products: In specific conditions, this chemical material may produce hydrogen (risk of explosion) and oxygen (combustive).

11. Toxicological information

Acute toxicity: None.

Skin: Swelling risk if prolonged contact.

Sensitization: Not reported.

Long- term toxicity: No reported case.

12. Ecological information

This product is often at the origin of leaks and seepage which may carry unwanted chemicals along rivers and water tables. It is also a major part of acid rains and belongs to greenhouse gases.

13. Disposal considerations

Ensure conformity with local disposal regulations.

14. Transport information

Not regulated

15. Regulatory information

To the attention of the medical authorities:

- Oxygen dihydride is always detected in significant quantities in cancerous cells, though no carcinogen effect has ever been established for this solvent.

- Ingestion of large quantities: may lead to the death of the person.


16. Other information

The information in this SDS is based on the present state of our knowledge and on current EC and National Laws, as users' working conditions are beyond our knowledge and control. The product is not to be used for purposes other than those specified under SECTION 1 without first obtaining written handling instructions. It is always the responsibility of the user to take all necessary steps in order to fulfil the demands laid down in local rules and legislation. The information in this SDS is meant as a description of the safety requirements of our product. However, although prepared with all due care, The Manufacturer/Supplier Company provides no warranties, either expressed or implied, and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the data contained herein. The Manufacturer/Supplier Company assumes no responsibility for any injury to vendor, end user or third party and it is the sole responsibility of the user to determine its suitability for any purposes. It is not to be considered as a guarantee of the products properties.

The information in this Safety Data Sheet is pursuant to:

(a) The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply)

Regulations 1994 (as amended).

(b) OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29CFR) 1910.1200

(c) Council Directive 1999/45/EC relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations. (OJ No. L200, 30.07.1999).

(d) Council Directive 92/32/EEC (OJ No. L154,5-6-92.p1) amending the 7th time Council Directive 67/457/EEC (03 No. 196, (03/SE 1967, p234) in so far as these provisions relate to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.

(e) Council Directive 88/379/EEC (OJ No. LI187, 16-7-88.p14) as amended by Commission Directive90/492 EEC (03 No. L275 5-10-90 p35) on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations.

(f) Council Directive 78/631/EEC (OJ No. L204, 29-7-78 p13) on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (pesticides); and

(g) Commission Directive 91/115/EEC (OJ No. L76 22-3-91 p35) on the system of specific  information relating to dangerous preparations (Safety Data Sheets) except in so far as those directives relate to the provision of child resistant fastenings for certain packages containing dangerous substances and preparations.

OJ - Official Journal of the European Communities.

Please ensure that it is passed to the appropriate person(s) in your company, who are capable of acting on the information.

We, Pierre CHEMIN and Patrick DUBOSC, welcome any comment, any idea. If you have some examples you would like to see discussed here, please give us all the useful indications. If you require confidentially, we would modify locations, names and some parameters to prevent any traceability.
Nevertheless, we are convinced that our site may be a kind of surge-valve: the topic is NOT to target this company, or that auditor; but it is always to make users think, to make them ask themselves, or others, the right questions.

We may also give advice, once again on a confidential basis if needed: please, feel free to ask questions, to document our data basis: about Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), about environment, a chemical name you don't understand, a Penetrant process you have heard about, etc.
We have plenty of examples, some being out of all the specifications/standards, which led to the discontinuities detection, when the "current, normal, processes" prevented discontinuity finding.

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 May 2011 16:50 )