The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)



The Safety Data Sheet has a lot of really important information in it.  The first look generally means nothing to most people who are looking at it, but it does give professionals information that is required to decide how to treat the chemical and equally importantly how to treat an injury sustained by the chemical.

So for example, if any person is injured at work due to exposure to a chemical, the doctor will not treat them unless they have access to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).  This document details exactly what the ingredients are in this chemical, so the doctor knows exactly what it is that is in your eye/on your skin etc.  So for this reason the Environmental Health want all Safety Data Sheets to be printed out and available in an organised folder on your premises where everyone has access to them.

Astral Hygiene’s safety data sheets are actually contained on the side of all of our bottles, in the form of a QR code.  This code can also be found on the information sheet.  Our supplier decided to put all of the QR codes directly on the bottle, so that in an emergency when someone had gotten some chemical in their eye, and management had neglected to print out the MSDS, the critical information was available for everyone to access.

The MSDS’s also provide guidance on the hazard warning signs, so this is an indication of how dangerous this chemical is, in line with the REACH guidelines from Europe which govern the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of chemicals. REACH is a very thorough piece of legislation which really demonstrates how dangerous they can be, and how they must be treated with respect.

The picture above demonstrates the new Hazard Warning  Signs, so if you have any sign on display that have the orange and black hazard warning signs, these signs are out of date, and will not make you look favourably with environmental health or with your employees; if they know anything at all about chemicals.

More importantly, if you have any chemicals lying around, with the orange and black hazard warning signs, they need to be responsibly disposed of immediately.  These chemicals that have the orange and black signs on them are more than 2 years old, and no chemical should be more than 2 years old becase its out of date, and it is potentially unstable.

Do note the Acute Toxic Hazard or the Hazardous to the Aquatic Environment Hazard Warning Signs– these need to be very carefully disposed of, so not poured out in to the earth, or not poured down the sink.

If we can zero in on a few of the hazard warning signs, the exclamation point is the most common one on most of the products we would sell, this basically means it’s an irritant; and in general terms if you get this on your skin, or in your eye, you wash it with a lot of water, it WILL hurt, but you generally don’t need to go to hospital.  The rest, you will need to go to Hospital if you have an accident, or ingest or are exposed to.  The Corrosive Hazard Warning Sign is one that must be paid attention to; it is a really nasty chemical that we would sell here in terms of safety; corrosive would be degreasers, machine dishwash or anything with a high amount of acid. Acid obviously burns, so if you get any chemical that has corrosive on it, get straight to hospital.  It is critical if you are handling a corrosive chemical, you must wear PPE – at least a pair of gloves and a pair of goggles.

color flames GIF

There is also guidance in terms of first aid, and moving and handling, and how to tackle a fire with these chemicals in them, but an important concern for us all is also what kinds of Personal Protection Equipment to Wear when using them – and when?

So some of our super-concentrated chemicals have hazard warnings when they are raw – or undiluted – and when diluted they don’t carry a hazard warning at all.

We do offer training here, for anyone who buys chemicals from us, this is a good way to make sure your team knows what they are dealing with, the best way to handle the chemical and also what exactly will happen to you if the chemicals are not handled correctly. During our training we generally show the participants exactly how to move, store, dispense and which PPE to wear and WHEN to wear it – this is all really important information for keeping EVERYONE safe.  We keep it as short as possible, and we are very good at it.

In todays ecologically aware society, the final sections of the MSDS are so very important – what kind of damage is this chemical going to do to our planet? How should I use it to minimise the risk? This is very important information in terms of being responsible with chemicals.

So I do hope you now see that the MSDS’s are not useless pieces of information, that mean nothing to anyone, they hold critical information which permeates every aspect of your job/your business/your establishment…..

To get your Material Safety Data Sheets on the products you buy from us, just go to the website, search for a chemical and your safety data sheet is there available to download.  Theres also a handy information sheet where we can get one, which we're also sharing!

If you’d like to know any more, or as a customer of Astral Hygiene Ltd you’d like to benefit from some free training, just give us a call ….. 01835 824 342.


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