Safety data sheet

Safety data sheets are used by the chemical suppliers to provide their customers with information about the properties and risks of the chemicals and how to store and handle them safely. Safety data sheets permit users of chemicals to use them safely. 

Safety data sheets are intended for the professional and industrial users of chemicals, not for consumers.

Which chemicals require a safety data sheet?

  • substances and mixtures classified as hazardous
  • persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances (PBT substances)
  • Very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances (vPvB substances)
  • substances that are included in the ‘Candidate list’ of Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC)

If a substance or mixture that is classified as hazardous is also intended for consumer use, it is possible to provide a safety data sheet on request. 

Which chemicals require a safety data sheet on request?

  • Mixtures that are not classified as hazardous but contain hazardous or harmful substances that exceed the concentration limits, please see the table.

Substance contained by an unclassified mixture

Concentration limit in a mixture that requires an SDS to be provided on request

  • a substance that is hazardous to health
  • a substance that is hazardous to the environment

1p-%

0,2 vol-% (gaseous)

  • a carcinogenic substance (cat. 2)
  • a substance toxic to reproduction (cat. 1A, 1B and 2)
  • a skin-sensitising substance (cat. 1, 1B)
  • a respiratory sensitiser substance (cat. 1, 1B)
  • a substance with effect on or via lactation
  • a PBT or vPvB substance
  • a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC)

0,1p-%

  • a skin-sensitising substance (cat. 1A)
  • a respiratory sensitiser substance (cat. 1A)

0,01%

  • a sensitising substance for which a specific concentration limit has been set at below 0.1%

1/10 of a specific concentration limit

  • a specific target organ toxicant (cat. 2)

1,0 %

  • a substance for which there is a Community workplace exposure limit

no concentration limit

Who is responsible for preparing a safety data sheet?

The manufacturers of substances and mixtures and those importing them to the EU. If necessary, a company may use a consultant to prepare the SDS. However, each company is responsible for the supply, content and language requirements of the safety data sheet even if the company did not prepare the SDS.

How and when should the safety data sheet be provided?

The chemical supplier, e.g., the seller of a paint, will provide the safety data sheet at the latest on the day the chemical is delivered to the recipient for the first time.

A printed or electronic safety data sheet must be delivered to the recipient of the chemical free of charge. The safety data sheet must include the contact details of the supplier and it may also contain the details of the original supplier of the chemical. In Finland, safety data sheets must be delivered in Finnish and/or Swedish, depending on the recipient of the chemical.  

When should the safety data sheet be updated?

As soon as new hazard information or information that may affect the risk management measures becomes available. In this case, the supplier must deliver an updated safety data sheet to all customers that have had the chemical delivered within the past 12 months.

The updating requirements of safety data sheets should be reviewed regularly. The person updating the safety data sheet will add the revision date and version number on the safety data sheet.

When should an exposure scenario be annexed to a safety data sheet?

When the registrant of the substance in the same supply chain has prepared exposure scenarios in connection with a chemical safety assessment, for example, when dealing with substances that are classified as hazardous. The exposure scenarios of substances must be taken into consideration when preparing safety data sheets for a mixture. Exposure scenarios provide information on the operational conditions and risk management measures that are required for safe use of the substance or mixture.

What should I do when I receive a safety data sheet?

Based on the information on the safety data sheet, the company must determine the appropriate measures required to manage the risks caused by the chemical and begin to apply such measures. If exposure scenarios are annexed to the safety data sheet, the company must determine whether its uses and operational conditions be included in the exposure scenarios.

If the uses and/or operational conditions are not included in the exposure scenarios, the company must take action!

The company may

  • report the use of the chemical to the registrant of the substance either directly or through the actor who supplied the chemical, in order for the registrant to include the use in the exposure scenario, or
  • adapt the operational conditions of use to match the conditions stated in the exposure scenario, or
  • prepare a chemical safety report for their own use, or
  • replace the substance with another substance, or
  • find a chemical supplier with an exposure scenario that takes into consideration the company’s use of the chemical.