Safety Data Sheet Search

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What is a Safety Data Sheet?

A safety data sheet, or SDS, is a standardized document that contains occupational safety and health data. The International Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) mandates that chemical manufacturers must communicate a chemical’s hazard information to chemical handlers by providing a Safety Data Sheet. SDS’s typically contain chemical properties, health and environmental hazards, protective measures, as well as safety precautions for storing, handling, and transporting chemicals.

Globally Harmonized System

GHS is a set of international guidelines that were developed by the United Nations. These guidelines were created to ensure the safe manufacturing, handling, use, disposal, and transport of hazardous materials. The GHS system is used to:

  • Classify chemical data and hazard criteria.
  • Identify a chemical’s health, physical, and environmental hazards.
  • Provide chemical manufacturers and distributors with a well-defined system to communicate a chemical’s hazard information and protective measures.

SDS Structure and Format

Safety data sheets have sixteen sections. The early sections, one through eight, focus on quick access to essential information that might be required by chemical handlers for safe handling practices or by emergency response personnel. Sections nine through eleven contain technical and scientific data, e.g., stability, reactivity, physical & chemical properties. Sections twelve through fifteen are not mandatory; however, they are required to be fully GHS compliant. The last section, section sixteen, contains information about the SDS itself, e.g., the revision date and changes since the last version.

SDS Information for Employers

Employers must ensure that employees have access to safety data sheets for all of the hazardous chemicals they handle. Employers may fulfill this requirement in a variety of ways. For example, SDS binders are quite common as are computer-based SDS databases. What’s important is that employees have access to the safety data sheets for all of the chemicals that they are using. If the employer does not have an SDS for one of these chemicals they should contact the manufacturer to obtain the current version of the SDS for that chemical. In this sense, the online SDS databases have a clear advantage over binder-based systems since the database vendor usually takes care of indexing and updating the safety data sheets.

Hazard Communication Standard Pictogram

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires pictograms on labels to alert users of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed. The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification. The pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s).

GHS Hazard Pictogram Hazard Class & Hazard Category
Explosive GHS explosive pictogram
  • Unstable Explosives
  • Explosives, Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
  • Self-reactive Substances and Mixtures, Types A, B
  • Organic peroxides, types A, B
Flammable GHS flamable pictogram
  • Flammable gases, category 1
  • Flammable aerosols, categories 1, 2
  • Flammable liquids, categories 1, 2, 3
  • Flammable solids, categories 1, 2
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures, types B, C, D, E, F
  • Pyrophoric liquids, category 1
  • Pyrophoric solids, category 1
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures, categories 1, 2
  • Substances and mixtures, which in contact with water, emit flammable gases, categories 1, 2, 3
  • Organic peroxides, types B, C, D, E, F
Oxidizing GHS oxidizing pictogram
  • Oxidizing Gases, Category 1
  • Oxidizing Liquids, Categories 1, 2, 3
  • Oxidizing Solids, Categories 1, 2, 3
Compressed Gas GHS Compressed Gas pictogram
  • Compressed Gases
  • Liquefied Gases
  • Refrigerated Liquefied Gases
  • Dissolved Gases
Corrosive GHS Corrosive pictogram
  • Corrosive to Metals, Category 1
Toxic GHS toxic pictogram
  • Acute Toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation), Categories 1, 2, 3
Corrosive GHS corrosive pictogram
  • Skin Corrosion, Categories 1A, 1B, 1C
  • Serious Eye Damage, Category 1
Irritant GHS irritant pictogram
  • Acute Toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation), Category 4
  • Skin Irritation, Categories 2, 3
  • Eye Irritation, Category 2A
  • Skin Sensitization, Category 1
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity Following Single Exposure, Category 3
  • Respiratory Tract Irritation
  • Narcotic Effects
Health Hazard GHS health hazard pictogram
  • Respiratory Sensitization, Category 1
  • Germ Cell Mutagenicity, Categories 1A, 1B, 2
  • Carcinogenicity, Categories 1A, 1B, 2
  • Reproductive toxicity, categories 1A, 1B, 2
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity Following Single Exposure, Categories 1, 2
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity Following Repeated Exposure, Categories 1, 2
  • Aspiration Hazard, Categories 1, 2
Environ- mentally Damaging GHS environmentally damaging pictogram
  • Acute hazards to the aquatic environment, category 1
  • Chronic hazards to the aquatic environment, categories 1, 2

Class 1: Explosives

GHS Hazard Pictogram Hazard Class & Hazard Category
Divisions 1.1–1.3 Divisions 1.1–1.3 GHS pictogram Explosives 
  • Division 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
  • Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
  • Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.4 Division 1.4 GHS pictogram Explosives 
  • Substances and articles which are classified as explosives but which present no significant hazard
Division 1.5 Division 1.5 GHS pictogram Explosives 
  • Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.6 Division 1.6 GHS pictogram Explosives 
  • No hazard statement

Class 2: Gases

GHS Hazard Pictogram Hazard Class & Hazard Category
Division 2.1 Division 2.1 GHS pictogram Flammable Gases 
  • Gases which at 20 °C and a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa:
    • are ignitable when in a mixture of 13 per cent or less by volume with air; or
    • have a flammable range with air of at least 12 percentage points regardless of the lower flammable limit.
Division 2.2 Division 2.2 GHS pictogram Non-flammable Non-toxic Gases 
  • Gases which are asphyxiant – gases which dilute or replace the oxygen normally in the atmosphere.
  • Gases which are oxidizing – gases which may, generally by providing oxygen, cause or contribute to the combustion of other material more than air does.
  • Gases which do not come under the other divisions.
Division 2.3 Division 2.3 GHS pictogram Toxic Gases 
  • Gases which are known to be so toxic or corrosive to humans as to pose a hazard to health.
  • Gases which are presumed to be toxic or corrosive to humans because they have an LC50 value equal to or less than 5000 ml/m3 (ppm).

Classes 3 and 4: Flammable Liquids and Solids

GHS Hazard Pictogram Hazard Class & Hazard Category
Class 3 Class 3 GHS pictogram Flammable Liquids 
  • Liquids which have a flash point of less than 60 °C and which are capable of sustaining combustion.
Division 4.1 Division 4.1 GHS pictogram Flammable Solids, Self-reactive Substances and Solid Desensitized Explosives 
  • Solids which, under conditions encountered in transport, are readily combustible or may cause or contribute to fire through friction; self-reactive substances which are liable to undergo a strongly exothermic reaction; solid desensitized explosives which may explode if not diluted sufficiently.
Division 4.2 Division 4.2 GHS pictogram Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion 
  • Substances which are liable to spontaneous heating under normal conditions encountered in transport, or to heating up in contact with air, and being then liable to catch fire.
Division 4.3 Division 4.3 GHS pictogram Substances Which in Contact with Water Emit Flammable Gases 
  • Substances which, by interaction with water, are liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable gases in dangerous quantities.

Other GHS Transport Classes

GHS Hazard Pictogram Hazard Class & Hazard Category
Division 5.1 Division 5.1 GHS pictogram Oxidizing substances 
  • Substances which, while in themselves not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.
Division 5.2 Division 5.2 GHS pictogram Organic Peroxides 
  • Organic substances which contain the bivalent –O–O– structure and may be considered derivatives of hydrogen peroxide, where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals.
Division 6.1 Division 6.1 GHS pictogram Toxic Substances 
  • Substances with an LD50 value ≤ 300 mg/kg (oral) or ≤ 1000 mg/kg (dermal) or an LC50 value ≤ 4000 ml/m3 (inhalation of dusts or mists)
Class 8 Class 8 GHS pictogram Corrosive Substances 
  • Substances which cause full thickness destruction of intact skin tissue on exposure time of less than 4 hours.
  • Substances which exhibit a corrosion rate of more than 6.25 mm per year on either steel or aluminium surfaces at 55 °C.

Basic Searches

Enter the chemical name in the Substance field and click on the Submit button. A list of matching results from one or more manufacturers will be returned if the chemical is found in the database. You can then click on the desired result and a summary page will open.

GHS labels and safety data sheets can be printed or downloaded. Click on the View GHS Label button at the bottom left of the summary page to open the GHS label. Click on the View SDS button at the bottom right of the summary page to open the safety data sheet.

Advanced Searches

More advanced searches can be performed by populating multiple fields with data. For example, enter the chemical name in the Substance field and enter the manufacturer name in the Manufacturer field. This will return fewer, but more precise results. Also, the Search Type can be manipulated using the “begins with” and “contains” drop-down selections.

You can search for SDS’s using the CAS number. This will return only pure chemicals and not mixtures that contain that CAS number.

Use Guidelines

Chemical Safety’s SDS and GHS database is a free service available to organizations of all types. For-profit organizations are granted permission to access Chemical Safety’s SDS Search from Chemical Safety’s website. There are no restrictions on the number of searches performed. Educational and not-for-profit institutions may embed Chemical Safety’s SDS search on their own websites (see instructions below).

Inserting a Direct Link

Inserting a direct link to Chemical Safety’s SDS search page is the easiest solution and requires minimal effort. For convenience, the link will open in a new browser tab. To insert a direct link to our SDS search page, add this code (copy & paste) to your webpage:
<a href="https://www.chemicalsafety.com/sds-search" target="_blank"> Click here for SDS search </a>

Embedding the Search Functionality on Third-party Websites

Embedding Chemical Safety’s search functionality can also be achieved in two ways:

Method 1: Static iFRAME embedding

You can the add the search functionality in your web page by adding the following code.
<iframe width="800" height="800" src="https://www.chemicalsafety.com/sds-search"></iframe>
In the above code snippet you can set the width and height to match your website design. This solution is easier to implement but is not so customizable as the previous one.

Method 2: Dynamic Embedding (recommended for advanced users)

If you are an advanced user you can add the Chemical Safety search form and results panel in any location on your web page. Please submit the form below and we will reach out to you with instructions.


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