Newly Created Chemicals
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states in the Hazard Communications Standard (29 C.F.R. 1910.1200(g)(1)):
Chemical manufacturers and importers shall obtain or develop a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers shall have a material safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical which they use.
Case Western Reserve University researchers that synthesize new chemicals or new formulations of an existing chemical are considered “chemical manufacturers” and are responsible for generating a MSDS for these newly created chemicals. OSHA clarified this requirement in a standards interpretation letter on February 5th, 2004 in response to a question from a LSU researcher.
A blank MSDS is provided in order for researchers to be compliant with OSHA regulations. Instructions regarding properly completing the MSDS can be found below.
Creating a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
The identity of the newly synthesized chemical must be entered into the MSDS. This field should contain:
- Chemical name, exactly as it appears on the outside of the container
- Molecular formula
- Molecular weight (if known)
Blank spaces are not allowed on the MSDS. Therefore if any field throughout the document is not applicable to the material or information is unknown the abbreviation N/A must be used to indicate that the information is not applicable or not available.
Section I — Manufacture Information
Information regarding the person who is primarily responsible for the synthesis of the chemical must be entered into these sections.
Name — Full name of the person who is primarily responsible for the creation of the new chemical
Telephone number — Office number or laboratory number of the responsible person
Emergency number — 24-hour contact number(s) for responsible person should an emergency occur.
Address — Case Western Reserve University address of the responsible person.
Date prepared — Month, day, and year when the MSDS was created or changed.
Section II — Hazardous ingredients/identity information
All known constituents of the newly created chemical must be entered into the appropriate fields. This section also allows for the identification of permissible exposure limit defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the threshold limit value defined by the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
All components of the chemical or mixture must be identified by its chemical name or common name and, if possible, the percent of each chemical that is incorporated into the final product. If a permissible exposure limit or threshold limit values is available for the chemical it questions, that value must be entered into an appropriate area. Newly synthesized chemicals will more than likely not have exposure limits due to the amount of testing required.
If the chemical or mixture consists of only a few materials, there is no need to enter N/A into the extra spaces.
Section III through Section V
It is understood that the information required in these sections may not be available for newly synthesized chemicals. Also, there is no requirement for researchers to conduct experiments or testing to determine the properties of new substances. These sections are used for researchers to input known information.
Boiling point — the temperature at which a liquid changes to vapor state, at a given pressure; usually expressed in degrees Fahrenheit at sea level pressure (760 mm Hg, or 1 atm).
Hazardous decomposition or byproducts — these are materials that may be present after the breakdown or decomposition of a substance by heat, chemical reaction, electrolysis, decay or other processes.
Hazardous polymerization concern — hazardous polymerization is a reaction which takes place at a rate that releases large amounts of energy. If hazardous polymerization can occur the MSDS will usually list conditions which could start the reaction.
Evaporation rate — the rate that a material will vaporize when compared to the rate of vaporization of a known material (n-butyl acetate). The evaporation rate can be useful in evaluating the health and fire hazards of a material.
Flashpoint — Flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which the vapor of a combustible liquid can be made to ignite momentarily in air. Typically, two methods are used to determine flashpoint, closed or open cup.
Incompatibility — a material that may cause dangerous reactions in direct contact occurs should be noted in this section.
Lower/upper explosion limits — Percent of air mixture required for substance to ignite.
Melting point — temperature at which a solid substance changes to a liquid state.
Specific gravity — the weight of a material compared to the weight of an equal volume of water; an expression of the density of the material.
Stability — expression of the material’s ability to remain unchanged. A material is stable if it remains in the same form under expected and reasonable conditions of storage and use.
Vapor pressure — the pressure exerted by a saturated vapor above its own liquid in a closed container, in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), unless stated otherwise.
Section VI — Health hazard data
The health effects due to exposure to a newly synthesized chemical should be noted in this section. Again, it is understood that much of this information will be unknown for a newly synthesized substance, but any known information must be noted.
Routes of exposure — chemical exposures can occur through one or more routes into the human body. It is important to note the route that newly synthesized chemical is likely to take. If a chemical is a lightweight dust or highly volatile chemical inhalation is possible. Liquids are more likely to be ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Carcinogenicity — chemicals that are known or suspected of causing cancer are investigated by many regulatory agencies and independent organizations, and are classified according ability of the chemical to cause cancer. If the mixture in question has the ability to cause cancer, it may have been investigated by one of the organizations listed. If the material is classified by these organizations, it should be noted.
Section VII — Precautions for safe handling and storage
This section should indicate any special requirements for storage, such as temperature, environment (under inert gas), and humidity.
Section VIII — Control Measures
This section should elaborate on any safety precautions that should be taken when working with the newly created material.
If you have any questions you should contact EHS at (216) 368-2907.