Safety Data Sheets

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) (formally MSDS) is designed to provide emergency response personnel and users of potentially hazardous materials with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. The SDS is produced by the manufacturer of the chemical, and includes information on the health and physical hazards associated with the material and provides detailed information regarding its physical properties, reactivity, and toxicity. It also details first aid, storage, disposal, exposure control, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if there is a spill or a person has accidental contact with the material.

Starting March 26, 2012 the U.S. officially adopted a Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for formatting SDSs. The GHS format uniformly breaks down these sheets into 16 sections to make navigation easier. For quick reference, these sections are listed below:

Section 1, Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.

Section 2, Hazard(s) Identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.

Section 3, Composition/Information on Ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secret claims.

Section 4, First-aid Measures includes important symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.

Section 5, Fire-fighting Measures lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.

Section 6, Accidental Release Measures lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.

Section 7, Handling and Storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8, Exposure Controls/Personal Protection lists OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9, Physical and Chemical Properties lists the chemical's characteristics.

Section 10, Stability and Reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.

Section 11, Toxicological Information, includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12, Ecological Information to evaluate the environmental impact of the chemical(s) if it were released to the environment.

Section 13, Disposal Considerations provides guidance on proper disposal practices, recycling or reclamation of the chemical(s) or its container, and safe handling practices.

Section 14, Transport Information provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical(s) by road, air, rail, or sea.

Section 15, Regulatory Information identifies the safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product that are not indicated anywhere else on the SDS.

Section 16, Other Information, includes the date of preparation or last revision.

For more details about how to read an SDS, please review the How to Read SDS resource document.

SUU uses a web app that maintains records of safety data sheets (SDS’s) for all the chemicals used anywhere on campus and can be filtered by specific locations throughout campus. This SDS database can be accessed by any device that has access to the internet, from any location where the internet is available. Offline access is also available to those who would like offline access.

Please review the short introduction video for more information about this SDS Library. The library can be accessed by following this link: or by typing "" into any web browser.

The Add/Delete form can be filled out and submitted to ERM to request chemicals be added or removed from the SDS Library.

New chemical substances synthesized or produced in a laboratory, and used or shared outside of a laboratory group, require the preparation of an SDS for each synthesized substance. Contact the Enterprise Risk Management Office for more information on preparing new SDSs. GHS SDS Template.