Safety Data Sheet

A SDS (Safety Data Sheet) formerly known as a Material Safety Data Sheet is required under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. This is a detailed informational document prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical. It describes the physical and chemical properties of the product. The Safety Data Sheet:

  • is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner
  • includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill handling procedures
  • is a document the public has a right to upon request
  • must be written in English and contain:
  • the name of the chemical (same as on the label)
  • a listing of the ingredients
  • a statement of the ingredients that are known carcinogens or that present other known hazards
  • any specific hazards

In order to standardize the older OSHA 174 MSDS form consisting of 8 sections, a more expanded version consisting of 16 sections of information is becoming the international format. These 16 sections and a brief description of each are:

  1. Identification: Identifies the chemical product and the manufacturer's or supplier's name, address and emergency telephone number.
  2. Composition/information on ingredients: Identifies any hazardous ingredients.
  3. Hazard(s) identification: Identifies ingredient hazards from a health effect standpoint. The hazard rating symbol, the corresponding hazard rating and scale can be a "red flag" alert to any potential health hazards.                           

Hazard Rating

  • 1=Health
  • 2=Fire
  • 3=Reactivity
  • 4=Special Hazards


  • 0=Insignificant
  • 1=Slight
  • 2=Moderate
  • 3=High
  • 4=Extreme

To clarify, if a product's hazard rating for health has a scale number of 3 (which = High), then it is more significant to a user's health than a scale number of 1(which = Slight).

By the same token, if a product's hazard rating for fire has a scale number of 4 (which = Extreme), then it is more flammable (thus more significant to a user's health) than a scale number of 2 (which = Moderate).

The safest products will have a scale number of 0 for each of the four hazard ratings.

The following are the categories found on all SDS

  1. First-aid measures: Guidelines for treatment if harmed by a product.
  2. Fire-fighting measures: Identifies how and if a product is flammable and the means of extinction.
  3. Accidental release measures: Identifies leak and spill procedures.
  4. Handling and storage: Identifies safe handling and storage requirements of a product.
  5. Exposure controls/personal protection: Identifies product exposure limits and what personal protective equipment is needed for handling (gloves, respirators, etc).
  6. Physical and chemical properties: Identifies the product properties including physical state, boiling point, color, pH, evaporation rate, freeze rate, etc.
  7. Stability and reactivity: How stable is the product and how compatible or reactive with other products.
  8. Toxicological information: Identifies toxicity of product. Includes the effects of acute or chronic exposure, respiratory sensitivity, and carcinogenic effects.
  9. Ecological information: Identifies the aquatic toxicity.
  10. Disposal considerations: Explains waste disposal procedures.
  11. Transport information: Explains proper shipping information.
  12. Regulatory information: What regulations affect product (OSHA and other governmental regulations.
  13. Other information: Any other information not listed above which may impact the user.

In general, if your business is an end user of hazardous chemicals, you should be able to obtain a free Safety Data Sheet from the manufacturer or distributor that can be posted in the workplace and kept in your records.

The Safety Data Sheet information may be useful but it can not substitute for careful practices as to minimize the risk of cleaning products.

A big take away from consulting a cleaning solution's SDS is knowing how safe or harmful a cleaning solution is to the user or the building occupant.

If you're considering purchasing a carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning or multi-purpose cleaning product, you can see how safe Soap Free Procyon Cleaning Products are by checking out the Safety Data Sheet for any of these products. Go to the Product Store which provides a link to each product's Safety Data Sheet.


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