The product safety data sheet (PSDS), also referred to as a material safety data sheet (MSDS) or simply a safety data sheet (SDS), plays an important role in product stewardship and workplace safety and health. Designed to provide safe work methods for employees and emergency personnel, it refers to physical aspects of a product, such as its melting, flashing and boiling points, to its toxicity and level of reactivity, its health impact and emergency care, the storage and disposal options available, as well as to spill management procedures and protective equipment. Formats depend on national provisions.
PSDSs are a commonly used form of chemical product analysis. Also containing hazard information and safety measures, they are provided with all operations involving chemical use.
Substances must be labelled according to their physical and chemical properties, as well as associated health and/or environmental hazards. The EU, for instance, marks all hazardous substances with a black cross on an orange background.
PSDSs do not primarily address general chemical use situations, but situations that involve the use of chemical products at workplaces and the dangers associated with it.
Some jurisdictions impose the mention of hazards, safety measures and environmental effects associated with a chemical product within the PSDS.
PSDSs must be specific to both the product supplier and the country they are issued in order for a differentiation between identical products to be possible. Formulation and risk variations between products with identical generic names but distinct manufacturers within a particular country are possible.
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