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What is an MSDS label?

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Quick Answer

A Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS, is a label on a chemical product that details information about the possible health hazards of that product and how to safely use it. These labels also contain information on the physical and chemical properties of the substance.

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Full Answer

An MSDS contains information such as chemical identity of a product, manufacturer information, a list of hazardous chemical ingredients in the product, flammability information and reactivity data. Other important information given by an MSDS label includes which precautions to take in case of an emergency; for example, a spill or leak of the product.

MSDS labels indicate types of protective clothing needed when handling a hazardous substance. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is required by law to use MSDS labels when shipping dangerous chemical products. Employers are required to request MSDS labels from distributors of products and give workers easy access to them.

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