The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a detailed fact sheet summarizing information about a chemical's hazardous ingredients; health, physical, and fire hazards; emergency procedures and first aid; chemical reactivity and incompatibilities; and spill, leak, and disposal procedures and protective measures required for safe handling and storage. The objective of a SDS is to concisely inform you about the hazards of the materials you work with so that you can protect yourself and respond to emergency situations.

Online SDS resources

What the Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS) tells you

The SDS provides you with the information you need to know to protect yourself from exposure to a particular hazardous chemical under normal conditions of use as well as during emergencies. 

The information on an SDS is provided by the manufacturer or distributor of the chemical. You are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to maintain a copy of the SDS for the each chemical used and stored in your work area. Regulations do not require a standard format for SDS information, so one SDS may look different than another. However, regulations do require that every SDS be written in English and that they provide the following information:

  1. Chemical name, trade name, synonyms, and CAS number
  2. Name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer
  3. List of hazardous ingredients
  4. Exposure limits (OSHA PELs, ACGIH TLVs, or other established limits)
  5. Conditions under which the chemical will burn, explode, melt, or become a dangerous gas
  6. Normal appearance and odor of the chemical
  7. How to put out a fire involving the chemical
  8. What to do if the chemical leaks or spills
  9. Primary ways the chemical enters the body
  10. Known health hazards of the chemical
  11. Medical conditions that may be aggravated by exposure to the chemical
  12. How to prevent a dangerous exposure (handling, storage, protective equipment, and disposal)
  13. Signs and symptoms of exposure to the chemical
  14. What to do if you are exposed
  15. When the SDS was last updated