Virtual Flexo Plant

Material Safety Data Sheet


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that each product used in a printing operation containing a hazardous ingredient must be accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS was designed to convey important safety hazard information and measures to protect persons who may come in contact with a product, including employees, fire fighters, etc. Current up-to-date MSDSs must be kept on file for all products and must be accessible to employees. Obsolete MSDSs for products that are no longer used, and outdated versions of MSDSs for products that are currently used must be kept on file at a facility for 30 years.

The MSDS can also serve to provide important environmental compliance information, such as volatile organic compound (VOC) content, Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) content, hazardous chemical ingredients and their CAS numbers for Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory reporting, flash point, product density, and vapor pressure. This information is required for Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAPs) and VOC emission calculations, as well as other annual record keeping and reporting requirements, such as Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) 311 and 312 reporting.

There is currently no required format for an MSDS, but OSHA recommends that MSDSs be created using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for preparation of MSDSs (Z400.1/Z129.1). This format closely reflects the format for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) required by the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Other formats may contain the same required information, but in an alternative location on the sheet.

The sixteen recommended sections for an MSDS using the ANSI/GHS format are listed below.

  1. Identification of the substance or mixture and of the supplier
    • Product identifier.
    • Other means of identification.
    • Recommended use of the chemical and restrictions on use.
    • Supplier's details (including name, address, phone number, etc.).
    • Emergency phone number.
  2. Hazards identification
    • Hazard classification of the substance/mixture and any national or regional information.
    • Labele elements, including precautionary statements. (Hazard symbols may be provided as a graphical reproduction of the symbols in black and white or the name of the symbol, e.g., flame, skull and crossbones.)
    • Other hazards which do not result in classification (e.g., dust explosion hazard).
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
    • Chemical identity.
    • Common name, synonyms, etc.
    • CAS number.
    • Impurities and stabilizing additives which are themselves classified and which contribute to the classification of the substance.
    • The chemical identity and concentration or concentration ranges of all ingredients which are hazardous and are present above their cutoff levels.
  4. First aid measures
    • Description of necessary measures, subdivided according to the different routes of exposure, i.e., inhalation, skin and eye contact, and ingestion.
    • Most important symptoms/effects, acute and delayed.
    • Indication of immediate medical attention and special treatment needed, if necessary.
  5. Firefighting measures
    • Suitable (and unsuitable) extinguishing media.
    • Specific hazards arising from the chemical (e.g., nature of any hazardous combustion products).
    • Special protective equipment and precautions for firefighters.
  6. Accidental release measures
    • Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures.
    • Environmental precautions.
    • Methods and materials for containment and cleaning up.
  7. Handling and storage
    • Precautions for safe handling.
    • Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities.
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection.
    • Control parameters, e.g., occupational exposure limit values or biological limit values.
    • Appropriate engineering controls.
    • Individual protection measures, such as personal protective equipment.
  9. Physical and chemical properties
    • Appearance (physical state, color, etc.).
    • Odor.
    • Odor threshold.
    • pH.
    • melting point/freezing point.
    • initial boiling point and boiling range.
    • flash point.
    • evaporation rate.
    • flammability (solid, gas).
    • upper/lower flammability or explosive limits.
    • vapor pressure.
    • vapor density.
    • relative density.
    • solubility(ies).
    • partition coefficient: n-octanol/water.
    • autoignition temperature.
    • decomposition temperature.
  10. Stability and reactivity
    • Chemical stability.
    • Possibility of hazardous reactions.
    • Conditions to avoid (e.g., static discharge, shock or vibration).
    • Incompatible materials.
    • Hazardous decomposition products.
  11. Toxicological information
    • Concise but complete and comprehensible description of the various toxicological (health) effects and the available data used to identify those effects, including:
    • information on the likely routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact);
    • Symptoms related to the physical, chemical and toxicological characteristics;
    • Delayed and immediate effects and also chronic effects from short- and long-term exposure;
    • Numerical measures of toxicity (such as acute toxicity estimates).
  12. Ecological information
    • Ecotoxicity (aquatic and terrestrial, where available).
    • Persistence and degradability.
    • Bioaccumulative potential.
    • Mobility in soil.
    • Other adverse effects.
  13. Disposal considerations
    • Description of waste residues and information on their safe handling and methods of disposal, including the disposal of any contaminated packaging.
  14. Transport information
    • UN Number.
    • UN Proper shipping name.
    • Transport Hazard class(es).
    • Packing group, if applicable.
    • Marine pollutant (Yes/No).
    • Special precautions which a user needs to be aware of or needs to comply with in connection with transport or conveyance either within or outside their premises.
  15. Regulatory information
    • Safety, health and environmental regulations specific for the product in question.
  16. Other information including information on preparation and revision of the MSDS

The OSHA Form 174, created in 1985 and no longer recommended by OSHA, is still a acceptable format for MSDSs. Each of the eight sections of OSHA Form 174 is listed below and environmental information or description is provided where applicable.

Section I. Basic Product Information

  • Trade Name or Synonym
  • Manufacturers Name and Address
  • Emergency Telephone Number
  • Chemical Name of Product
  • Date Prepared
  • Signature of Preparer

Section II: Hazardous Ingredients

This section lists the chemical name, CAS (chemical abstract service) number, and the quantity of the chemical within the product expressed in percent by volume or weight.

Section III: Physical Data

  1. Boiling Point
  2. Vapor Pressure
  3. Vapor Density
  4. Solubility in Water
  5. Specific Gravity
  6. Evaporation Rate
  7. Appearance and Odor
  8. Percent Volatile by Weight

Section IV: Fire and Explosion Data

  1. Flash Point
  2. Flammable or Explosive Limits
  3. Extinguishing Media
  4. Special Fire Fighting Procedures
  5. Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazards

Section V. Reactivity Data

  1. Stability
  2. Incompatibility
  3. Hazardous Decomposition or By-Products
  4. Hazardous Polymerization

Section VI. Health Hazard Data

  1. Routes of Entry
  2. Health Hazards (acute and chronic)
  3. Carcinogenicity
  4. Signs/symptoms of Exposure
  5. Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure
  6. Emergency and First Aid Procedures.

Section VII: Spill and Leak Procedures

  1. Steps to be taken in case material is released or spilled
  2. Waste Disposal Method
  3. Precautions to be taken in handling and storing.
  4. Other Precautions

Section VIII: Control Measures

  1. Respiratory Protection
  2. Ventilation
  3. Protective Gloves/eye protection/other equipment
  4. Other Protective Clothing or Equipment
  5. Work/Hygienic Practices