Safety Data Sheet
for chemical products
Safety Data Sheet is a document containing information on environmental and health risks and other properties of certain chemical products and preparations. Distributors and professional users in Sweden are entitled to obtain Safety Data Sheets from a manufacturer or supplier for products in consumer packaging. However, consumers are not eligible to receive it.
Companies, retailing chemical products on the market, are responsible for providing Safety Data Sheets to those who use the products for a professional purpose and to the reseller. Since a Safety Data Sheet should contain information on hazardous chemical constituents, occupational exposure limit values, bioaccumulation and degradability data, etc., it can be difficult and expensive for small companies to have this knowledge in place.
In addition, it requires regular updating. Being as a supplier or an importer obliged, upon a customer request, to provide both accurate and up-to-date information in the documents, can be a real challenge for a sales company. This requires a special routine and specially adapted work processes.
What is a safety data sheet?
Safety Data Sheet is a data sheet containing, among other things, information on hazardous substances (e.g. flammable, oxidising, explosive, hazardous to health or environmentally hazardous). In order to be able to sell chemical products containing dangerous substances, a company is usually required to prepare a record for each product – a safety data sheet.
Safety Data Sheets should be easy to read, clear and written in Swedish. Information on the health and environmentally hazardous properties of the product in question and the risks associated with those properties with possible protective measures must also be included. A Safety Data Sheet should contain all information that is essential to prevent any possible damage to people and the environment. The certificate must be adapted to the Swedish conditions and comply with the national regulations.
Why is a safety data sheet needed?
The Safety Data Sheet must provide a clear picture of the risks connected to a product. The information in the document is adapted specifically for the product in order to reduce the risks in handling this particular product. Instructions for first aid a brief information on the most important symptoms and effects should be included.
If immediate treatment is required, it should be described so that a person without medical education can understand how to proceed as soon as new information that may affect risk management measures or impose new risks is available, the Safety Data Sheet should be updated. The document must also be updated when a permit has been granted or denied or when any restriction has been issued.
What products require a Safety Data Sheet?
In Sweden Safety Data Sheets are required for the following chemical products:
- Substances and mixtures classified as hazardous (e.g. flammable, oxidising, explosive, hazardous to health or environmentally hazardous).
- Mixtures not classified as dangerous but containing at least 1 percent (0.2 percent for gases and 0.1 percent for toxic and environmentally hazardous substances) of a health or environmentally hazardous substance.
- Mixtures that are not classified as hazardous but contain at least one substance that has national Occupational Exposure Limit values for workplace exposure.
- Long-lived, bio-accumulative, toxic (PBT) substances and non-hazardous mixtures containing low levels of allergenic substances.
- Updated dokuments must be provided to all professional customers to whom the supplier has delivered the product during the past 12 months.
16 Sections in a Safety Data Sheet
Safety data Sheet includes 16 sections with compulsory headings and specially determined order.
- Name of the substance / mixture and the company
- Dangerous properties
- Composition/Information on ingredients
- First aid measures
- Fire-fighting measures
- Accidental release measures
- Handling and storage
- Exposure controls / personal protection
- Physical and chemical properties
- Stability and reactivity
- Toxicological information
- Ecological information
- Waste disposal
- Transport information
- Other ingormation
Legislation in Sweden
The Environmental Code contains the initial provisions regarding the handling of chemical products and the requirement to acquire knowledge. These rules apply to manufacturers, importers, sellers and users of chemical products. The main responsibility for handling rests with manufacturers, importers and sellers and also includes an obligation to prevent damage to people and the environment.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency issues regulations on the classification and labelling of chemical products based on both the national and European legislation. Chemicals, which are considered to be dangerous, shall be provided with a Safety Data Sheet and labelled with special hazard symbols. If a Safety Data Sheet is missing for a dangerous chemical product, the company risks to be fined with a significant ammount.
We offer assistance in creating new safety data sheets as well as revising, adjusting and updating existing ones.
Production of a new safety data sheet
We classify substances and preparations according to the regulations issued by the Swedish Chemicals Agency and other authorities, and design safety data sheets together with a chemical safety assessment. In the assessment, the classification of the product in question is carried out to identify possible health and environmentally hazardous properties. In connection with the classification, different toxicological and ecotoxicological values for the constituent substances are controlled and interpreted in order to make the assessment as accurate and reliable as possible.
Checking and updating
Safety data sheets are continuously controlled against applicable legislation. New regulations can be issued on the national level, by Swedish authorities (e.g. concerning occupational exposure limits TLV, TWA). The EU might also issue new regulations and directives. It can, for example, concern new harmonised classifications of different substances or restrictions of substances. For the CLP-regulation, governing classification and labelling, these amendments are published in so-called ATP (Adaptation to Technical Progress), ATP 1, ATP 2, etc. Changes can also be conducted within the chemicals regulation REACH. The manufacturer might also change their product formulas. These changes must be announced upwards in the distribution chain. When the customer has a new update from the manufacturer for a certain product, the current safety data sheet for that product is to be updated. Amasis monitor and is subscribed for the authorities’ recent updates that might affect safety data sheets. We follow the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) newsletter, new regulations from the Swedish Chemicals Agency, the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the Swedish Agency for Social Protection and Emergency Planning (MSB) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. We will notify our customers immediately, if we conclude that any updates are required.
As a rule, translation of foreign safety data sheets are not conducted properly. Safety data sheets must comply with the EU regulation REACH, Annex II, meanwhile to correspond to the Swedish national requirements, a safety data sheet must be supplemented on a number of points. Thus, a safety data sheet in Swedish, conducted in Germany might not be fully legitimised in Sweden due to some material deficiencies. This is continuously controlled by the Swedish Chemical Agency. Specific Swedish rules must be inserted in section 4 (First aid measures), Swedish occupational exposure limit values in section 8 (Exposure controls / personal protection), toxicological and ecotoxicological data on the product or constituents and interpretation of these values in sections 11 and 12. Hazardous waste codes according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in section 13 (Waste management) and correct goods designations for dangerous goods according to MSB in section 14 (Transport information) must be added.
We help with the adaptation of the Swedish safety data sheets to comply with the Swedish legislation and the national authorities’ requirements. We also make those comprehensible for the consumers.
Safety data sheets for other countries
We design safety data sheets for other European countries and according to specific rules that apply on the US and Canada. We can also issue safety data sheets for countries in Asia. The basis for designing the safety data sheets lies in the UN Harmonised System (GHS). Most countries in the world have ratified GHS. As the GHS system consists of different building blocks, different countries have adopted different parts of the latter. We design safety data sheets in accordance with current regulations of the country, where a safety data sheet is to be valid. We conduct a research concerning which parts of the GHS system this particular country has adapted. Within the EU, some countries have their own additional rules that need to be introduced. In Germany, for example, there are different water pollution classes (WGK) to be included in section 15.
Often, due to its complicated formula, containing a number of dangerous substances, a safety data sheet must also comply with the country’s national regulations and ordinances issued by various local authorities. We help you to find out what national rules are applicable, concerning all Nordic countries and a number of European countries as well.