Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are valuable resources. These sheets are published by the manufacturers of the materials listed on each sheet. Mandatory information to use in citation are:
ACS Style Guide 2006 edition addresses how to cite an SDS.
Hard copy (paper) SDS
Titanium Dioxide; SDS No. T3627; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003.
SDS obtained from an Internet search
Titanium Dioxide; SDS No. T3627; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/t3627.htm (accessed 4/15/04).
SDS obtained from a database source such as CCOHS
Titanium Dioxide; MSDS No. T3627; Mallinckrodt Baker: Phillipsburg, NJ, November 12, 2003. Available from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://ccinfoweb2.ccohs.ca/msds/Action.lasso?-database=msds&-layout=Display& - response=detail.html&-op=eq&MSDS+RECORD+NUMBER=3767394&-search (accessed 4/15/04).
Guide created on 1/27/09.
Text last updated on 1/29/09.
Links checked 8/16/10.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are basically brief informative fact sheets on specific hazardous substances.
"The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information."--https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.html
"The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical."--https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.html
They are a "component of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard. This regulation, announced in August 1987, requires employers to provide information to employees about hazardous chemicals used in the workplace through SDS, proper labels, and training programs” (Van Camp, p. 97). The regulation covers private, public, industry, and non-industry uses by any employee of any chemical that may have potentially harmful effects.
Every purchase of a potentially harmful chemical is required to be accompanied by an SDS for that chemical. Purchasers are required to keep copies of the MSDS on hand for their employees to consult. “It must be located close to workers, and readily available to them during each workshift” (Marsick, p. 280).
"SDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. SDS's vary in length depending on their format, content, and font size. We have seen them from 1 to 10 pages, with most being 2 to 4 pages." (taken from http://www.ilpi.com/msds/faq/parta.html#whatis)
No single SDS collection can be considered to be comprehensive and each covers a varying number of substances. Many of the less common substances may not be found in smaller SDS collections. Data is continually being produced on effects of particular substances and some collections contain outdated material or are revised less often and some SDS are more complete than others.
MSDS vary widely in how they appear - but the content remains the same - regardless. Below are sample MSDS.
Marsick, Daniel J. “Resources for Hazard Communication Compliance.” IN Information Resources in Toxicology, 2nd edition, Philip Wexler (ed.), New York: Elsevier, 1988, pp. 261-273. [Note: similar, and more up-to-date, information is provided in the 3rd edition, on pages 433-437, but the 2nd edition has a nice comparison chart of how many MSDS are covered by each major collection.]
Van Camp, Ann J. “Material Safety Data Sheets: Online and CD-ROM Sources.” Online, v. 14, no. 2 (March 1990): pp. 97-99.