Material Safety Data Sheet


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that each product used in a printing operation containing a hazardous ingredient must be accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS was initially designed to convey important safety hazard information and measures to protect persons who may come in contact with a product, including employees, fire fighters, etc. Current and revised MSDSs must be kept on file for all products and are to be accessible to employees. Obsolete MSDS must be kept on file at a facility for 30 years.

The MSDS can also serve to provide important environmental compliance information, such volatile organic compound (VOC) content, Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) content, hazardous chemical ingredients and their CAS numbers for Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory reporting, flash point, product density, and vapor pressure. This information is required for hazardous air pollutant (HAPs) and VOC emission calculations, as well as other annual record keeping and reporting requirements, such as Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) 311 and 312 reporting.

There is currently no required format for a MSDS, but the most common is the OSHA Form 174 that contains 9 different sections. Other formats may illustrate the same required information, but in an alternative location on the sheet. Each section of OSHA Form 174 is listed below and environmental information or description is provided where applicable.

Section I. Basic Product Information

  1. Trade Name or Synonym
  2. Manufacturers Name and Address
  3. Emergency Telephone Number
  4. Chemical Name of Product
  5. Date Prepared
  6. Signature of Preparer

Section II: Hazardous Ingredients

This section lists the chemical name, CAS (chemical abstract service) number, and the quantity of the chemical within the product expressed in percent by volume or weight.

Section III: Physical Data

  1. Boiling Point
  2. Vapor Pressure
  3. Vapor Density
  4. Solubility in Water
  5. Specific Gravity
  6. Evaporation Rate
  7. Appearance and Odor
  8. Percent Volatile by Weight

Section IV: Fire and Explosion Data

  1. Flash Point
  2. Flammable or Explosive Limits
  3. Extinguishing Media
  4. Special Fire Fighting Procedures
  5. Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazard

Section V. Reactivity Data


  1. Incompatibility
  2. Hazardous Decomposition or By-Products
  3. Hazardous Polymerization

Section VI. Health Hazard Data

    Routes of Entry

  1. Health Hazards (acute and chronic)
  2. Carcinogenicity
  3. Signs/symptoms of Exposure
  4. Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure
  5. Emergency and First Aid Procedures.

Section VII: Spill and Leak Procedures

Steps to be taken in case material is released or spilled

Waste Disposal Method

Precautions to be taken in handling and storing.

Other Precautions

Section VIII: Control Measures

Respiratory Protection


Protective Gloves/eye protection/other equipment

Other Protective Clothing or Equipment

Work/Hygienic Practices