What is a MSDS report and who needs them?

What is a MSDS report?

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS’s include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, andspill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs.

Who are they for?

MSDS’s are meant for:

  • Employees who may be occupationally exposed to a hazard at work.
  • Employers who need to know the proper methods for storage etc.
  • Emergency responders such as fire fighters, hazardous material crews, emergency medical technicians, and emergency room personnel.

MSDS’s are not meant for consumers. An MSDS reflects the hazards of working with the material in an occupational fashion. For example, an MSDS for paint is not highly pertinent to someone who uses a can of paint once a year, but is extremely important to someone who does this in a confined space 40 hours a week.

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So who needs them?

If you are working in a facility of just about any kind (e.g. hospice center, hospital, spa, etc) AND are storing essential oils there, then you need to have MSDS sheets on file, just in case.

How do you get them?

Typically the company you purchase essential oils from should have MSDS sheets for each of their oils, after all, the companies themselves would need to have them at their storage facility anyhow.



What does a MSDS sheet look like for an essential oil?

Material Safety Data Sheet: Oil of Lavender

Section I: Identification
Manufacturer Name: COMPANY NAME

Chemical name and synonyms: Oil of Lavender
Trade names and synonyms: Lavandula angustifolia
CAS number: 8000-28-0
FEMA number: 2622

Section II: Composition
Kind of product: Essential oil, Natural complex substance (100% pure and natural), Fragrant and/or flavor substance

Section III: Hazards Identification
Main Hazards: Irritating and Dangerous for Environment
Danger: Flammable, May cause irritation to the skin, may cause sensitization by skin contact, toxic to aquatic organisms.

Section IV: First Aid Measures
Excessive Inhalation Exposure: Remove person to ventilated area or open fresh air and follow normal First Aid procedures.
Eye: Wash eyes by normal First Aid procedures. Flush with water (and/or vegetable oil) and seek medical attention if necessary.
Skin Contact: Remove contaminated clothing. Wash with soap and water
Other: Ingestion – drink water, seek medical advice.

Section V: Fire Fighting Measures
Flash Point Closed Cup Method: 159.8° F
Extinguishing Media: Recommended Carbon dioxide (CO2) or powder fire extinguisher, Foam extinguisher. AVOID direct jet of water.
Dot Hazard Classification: None
Special Fire Fighting and Explosion Hazards: Cool containers exposed to flame with water. Avoid exposure to fumes and vapors. If necessary, use appropriate respirator.
Hazardous Combustible of Decomposition Products: None. Material is not pyrophoric, does not react with water, not an oxygen donor, material is shock stable

Section VI: Accidental Release Measures
Individual precautions: Avoid all flammable sources. Ventilate premises. Do not smoke. Use individual protective equipment (safety glasses, waterproof-boots, suitable protective clothing) in case of major spillages.
Precaution for Environment: Avoid contamination in sewers, surface water and underground water. Get rid of cloths, sponges, other material spillage occurred on, etc.
Cleaning methods: Remove all potential ignition sources. Contain spilled material. Cover for spillages: with an inert or non-combustible inorganic absorbent material, sweep up and remove to an approved disposal container. Observe state, federal & local disposal regulations.

Section VII: Handling and Storage
Store in Cool dry area in closed containers. Do not expose to temperatures over 95 degrees F.

Section VIII: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Respiratory: As with all materials, avoid casual breathing of vapors. Use in well ventilated area.
Ventilation: Local Exhaust is recommended to avoid casual breathing of vapors
Eye: Use OSHA approved safety glasses
Skin: Wear gloves or clothing to avoid skin contact
Other Protective Devices or Procedures: Follow Good Manufacturing Practice, provide adequate ventilation.
Threshold Limit Value (TLV): None established
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit: None established

Section IX: Physical and Chemical Properties
Odor Appearance and Physical State: Colorless to light yellow liquid with fresh floral herbaceous aroma
Boiling Point: Not available
Melting Point: Liquid
Specific Gravity (at 68° F): 0.880 to 0.890
Vapor pressure: Not Found
Solubility in H2O: Insoluble
Vapor Density (Air = 1): Greater than air
Refractive index at 68°F: 1.450 to 1. 464
Optical rotation at 68°F: 10.3° to 19.4°

Section X: Stability and Reactivity
Stability: Stable under normal conditions
Conditions to avoid: Excessive heat, remove sources of ignition, do not expose to direct sun.
Materials to avoid: Strong oxidizing agents, P.V.C.
Hazardous Polymerization Products: None

Section XI: Toxicological Information
Oral ingestion: DL org 50 for rat: >= 2650 mg/kg
Dermal absorption: non-toxic, non-photosenitizing

Section XII: Ecological Information
Aquatic toxicity: very toxic to aquatic organisms
Prevent surface contamination of soil, ground & surface water.

Section XIII: Disposal Considerations
Precaution if Material is Spilled or Released: Small spills wipe up with paper towels and place contaminated items in closed metal waste container; for large spills use non-flammable absorbent cloth and dispose in same manner.
Waste Disposal Methods: Follow Local, State, and Federal Laws

Section XIV: Transport Information
Comply with local and federal dangerous goods regulations.

Section XV: Regulatory Information
Generally recognized as safe as food additives by the FDA. Main hazards: possible irritant to skin and toxic to aquatic organisms.

Section XVI: Other Information
Important phrases: Flammable, Irritant to skin, very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause lung damage if swallowed.

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