For the benefit of MSDS Authoring Services’ valued GHS services clients, the below resources have been compiled regarding the most frequently used MSDS terms and definitions found in Material Safety Data Sheet information, MSDS data sheets, MSDS solutions, and MSDS forms in relation to GHS. If you are in need of MSDS writing, MSDS authoring, MSDS updating, or MSDS editing services, MSDS Authoring Services is your ultimate source for globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) compliant Material Safety Data Sheets of the highest quality and accuracy.
ADR: The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, as amended.
AGENCY: The European Chemicals Agency established under the REACH Regulation
ALLOY: A metallic material, homogeneous on a macroscopic scale, consisting of two or
more elements so combined that they cannot be readily separated by mechanical
means; alloys are considered to be mixtures for the purposes of the MSDS GHS draft and Regulation.
ARTICLE: An object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition; Aspiration means the entry of a liquid or solid chemical product into the trachea and lower respiratory system directly through the oral or nasal cavity, or indirectly from vomiting.
ASTM: American Society of Testing and Materials
CA: Competent authority
CARCINOGEN: A chemical substance or a mixture of chemical substances which induce cancer or increase its incidence.
CAS: Chemical Abstract Service
CBI: Confidential business information
CHEMICAL IDENTITY: A name that will uniquely identify a chemical. This can be a name that is in accordance with the nomenclature systems of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) or the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), or a technical name.
COMPETENT AUTHORITY: The authority or authorities or bodies established by the Member States to carry out the obligations arising from the MSDS GHS draft Regulation.
COMPRESSED GAS: A gas which when packaged under pressure is entirely gaseous at -50 °C; including all gases with a critical temperature • -50 °C.
CONTACT SENSITIZER: A substance that will induce an allergic response following skin contact. The definition for “contact sensitizer” is equivalent to “skin sensitizer”.
CORROSIVE TO METAL: A substance or a mixture which by chemical action will materially damage, or even destroy, metals.
CRITICAL TEMPERATURE: The temperature above which a pure gas cannot be liquefied, regardless of the degree of compression.
DERMAL CORROSION: see skin corrosion
DERMAL IRRITATION: see skin irritation
DISSOLVED GAS: A gas which when packaged under pressure is dissolved in a liquid phase solvent.
DISTRIBUTOR: Any natural or legal person established within the Community, including a retailer, who only stores and places on the market a substance or a mixture for third parties.
DOWNSTREAM USER: Any natural or legal person established within the Community, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who uses a substance, either on its own or in a preparation, in the course of his industrial or professional activities. A distributor or a consumer is not a downstream user. A re-importer exempted pursuant to Article 2(7)(c) REACH Regulation shall be regarded as a downstream user.
DUST: Solid particles of a substance or mixture suspended in a gas (usually air).
EC50: The effective concentration of substance that causes 50% of the maximum Response.
EC NUMBER or (ECN): A reference number used by the European Communities to identify
dangerous substances, in particular those registered under EINECS.
ECOSOC: The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
EINECS: European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances
ErC50: EC50 in terms of reduction of growth rate.
EU: European Union
EXPLOSIVE ARTICLE: An article containing one or more explosive substances.
EXPLOSIVE SUBSTANCE: A solid or liquid substance (or mixture of substances) which is in itself capable by chemical reaction of producing gas at such a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as to cause damage to the surroundings. Pyrotechnic substances are included even when they do not evolve gases.
EYE IRRITATION: The production of changes in the eye following the application of test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which are fully reversible within 21 days of application.
FLAMMABLE GAS: A gas having a flammable range with air at 20 °C and a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa.
FLAMMABLE LIQUID: A liquid having a flash point of not more than 93 °C.
FLAMMABLE SOLID: A solid which is readily combustible, or may cause or contribute to fire through friction.
FLASH POINT: The lowest temperature (corrected to a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa) at which the application of an ignition source causes the vapors of a liquid to ignite under specified test conditions.
FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GAS: A substance which (i) at 50 °C has a vapor pressure greater than 300 kPa; or (ii)
is completely gaseous at 20 °C at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa.
GESAMP: The “Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection of IMO/FAO/UNESCO/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP.
GHS: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
HAZARD CATEGORIES: The division of criteria within each hazard class.
HAZARD CLASS: Means the nature of the physical, health or environmental hazard.
HAZARD STATEMENT: A phrase assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazards of a hazardous substance or mixture, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard.
IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency
IARC: International Agency for the Research on Cancer
ILO: International Labor Organization
IMO: International Maritime Organization
IMPORT: The physical introduction into the customs territory of the community.
IMPORTER: Any natural or legal person established within the community who is responsible for import.
INTERMEDIATE: A hazardous substance that is manufactured for and consumed in or used for chemical processing in order to be transformed into another substance (hereinafter referred to as “synthesis”).
INITIAL BOILING POINT: The temperature of a liquid at which its vapor pressure is equal to the standard pressure (101.3 kPa), i.e. the first gas bubble appears.
IOMC: Inter-organization Programme on the Sound Management of Chemicals.
IPCS: International Programme on Chemical Safety
ISO: International Organization for Standardization
IUPAC: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
LABEL: An appropriate group of written, printed or graphic information elements concerning a hazardous product, selected as relevant to the target sector (s) that is affixed to, printed on, or attached to the immediate container of a hazardous product, or to the outside packaging of a hazardous product.
LABEL ELEMENT: One type of information that has been harmonized for use in a label, e.g. pictogram, signal word.
LC50 (50% lethal concentration): The concentration of a chemical in air or of a chemical in water which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.
LD50: The amount of a chemical, given all at once, which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.
L(E)C50: LC50 or EC50
LIQUIFIED GAS: Gas which when packaged under pressure is partially liquid at temperatures above -50 °C. A distinction is made between: (i) High pressure liquefied gas: a gas with a critical temperature between -50 °C and +65 °C; and (ii) Low pressure liquefied gas: a gas with a critical temperature above +65 °C; Liquid means a substance or mixture which at 50 °C has a vapor pressure of not more than 300 kPa (3 bar), which is not completely gaseous at 20 °C and at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa, and which has a melting point or initial melting point of 20 °C or less at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa. A hazardous substance or mixture for which a specific melting point cannot be determined shall be subjected to the ASTM D 4359-90 test; or to the test for determining fluidity (penetrometer test) prescribed in section 2.3.4 of Annex A of the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).
MANUFACTURER: Any natural or legal person established within the community who manufactures a substance within the community.
MANUFACTURING: The production or extraction of substances in the natural state.
MARPOL: International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
MIST: Liquid droplets of a substance or mixture suspended in a gas (usually air).
MIXTURE: A mixture or solution of two or more substances which do not react.
MONOMER: A substance which is capable of forming covalent bonds with a sequence of additional like or unlike molecules under the conditions of the relevant polymer forming reaction used for the particular process.
MUTAGEN: An agent giving rise to an increased occurrence of mutations in populations of cells and/or organism
MUTATION: A permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material in a cell.
NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
NOEC: No Observed Effect Concentration
NON-ISOLATED INTERMEDIATE: An intermediate that during synthesis is not intentionally removed (except for sampling) from the equipment in which the synthesis takes place. Such equipment includes the reaction vessel, its ancillary equipment, and any equipment through which the substance(s) pass(es) during a continuous flow or batch process as well as the pipework for transfer from one vessel to another for the purpose of the next reaction step, but it excludes tanks or other vessels in which the substance(s) are stored after the manufacture.
OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
ORGANIC PEROXIDE: A liquid or solid organic substance which contains the bivalent -0-0- structure and may be considered a derivative of hydrogen peroxide, where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals. The term also includes organic peroxide formulations (mixtures).
OXIDIZING GAS: Any gas which may, generally by providing oxygen, cause or contribute to the combustion of other material more than air does.
OXIDIZING LIQUID: A liquid which, while in itself not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.
OXIDIZING SOLID: A solid which, while in itself not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.
PICTOGRAM: A graphical composition that includes a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background pattern or color that is intended to convey specific information.
PLACING ON THE MARKET: Supplying or making available, whether in return for paymentor free of charge, to a third party. Import shall be deemed to be placing on the market.
POLYMER: A substance consisting of molecules characterized by the sequence of one or more types of monomer units. Such molecules must be distributed over a range of molecular weights wherein differences in the molecular weight are primarily attributable to differences in the number of monomer units. A polymer comprises the following:
(a) a simple weight majority of molecules containing at least three monomer units which are covalently bound to at least one other monomer unit or other reactant.
(b) less than a simple weight majority of molecules of the same molecular weight. In the context of this definition a ‘monomer unit’ means the reacted form of a monomer substance in a polymer.
PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENT: A phrase and/or pictogram that describes recommended measure(s) to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous substance or mixture due to its use.
PRODUCT IDENTIFIER: The name or number used for a hazardous product on a label or in the SDS. It provides a unique means by which the product user can identify the substance or mixture within the particular use setting e.g. transport, consumer or workplace.
PYROPHORIC LIQUID: A liquid which, even in small quantities, is liable of igniting within five minutes after coming into contact with air.
PYROPHORIC SOLID: A solid which, even in small quantities, is liable of igniting within five minutes after coming into contact with air.
PYROTECHNIC ARTICLE: An article containing one or more pyrotechnic substances.
PYROTECHNIC SUBSTANCE: A substance or mixture of substances designed to produce an effect by heat, light, sound, gas or smoke or a combination of these as the result of non-detonative self-sustaining exothermic chemical reactions.
REACH DATABASE: The classification & labeling inventory established under Article 113 of the proposed REACH Regulation.
REACH REGULATION: The Regulation (EC) concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.
READILY COMBUSTIBLE SOLID: Powdered, granular, or pasty substance or mixture which is dangerous if it can be easily ignited by brief contact with an ignition source, such as a burning match, and if the flame spreads rapidly.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS, MANUAL OF TESTS AND CRITERIA: The latest revised edition of the United Nations publication bearing this title, and any published amendment thereto.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS, MODEL REGULATIONS: The latest revised edition of the United Nations publication bearing this title, and any published amendment thereto.
REFRIGERATED LIQUIFIED GAS: A gas which when packaged is made partially liquid because of its low temperature.
REGISTRANT: The manufacturer or the importer of a substance or the producer or importer of an article submitting a registration for a substance.
RESPIRATORY SENSITIZER: A substance that induces hypersensitivity of the airways following inhalation of the substance.
RID: The regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail.
SAR: Structure Activity Relationship
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Any scientific experimentation, analysis or chemical research carried out under controlled conditions in a volume less than 1 ton per year.
SDS: Safety Data Sheet
SELF-ACCELERATING DECOMPOSITION TEMPERATURE (SADT): The lowest temperature at which self-accelerating decomposition may occur with substance as packaged.
SELF-HEATING SUBSTANCE: A solid or liquid substance, other than a pyrophoric substance, which, by reaction with air and without energy supply, is liable to self-heat; this substance differs from a pyrophoric substance in that it will ignite only when in large amounts (kilograms) and after long periods of time (hours or days).
SELF-REACTIVE SUBSTANCE: A thermally unstable liquid or solid substance liable to undergo a strongly exothermic decomposition even without participation of oxygen (air). This definition excludes substances or mixtures classified under the GHS as explosive, organic peroxides or as oxidizing.
SERIOUS EYE DAMAGE: The production of tissue damage in the eye, or serious physical decay of vision, following application of a test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which is not fully reversible within 21 days of application.
SIGNAL WORD: A word that indicates the relative level of severity of hazardous substances to alert the potential reader of the hazard; the following two levels are distinguished:
(a) Danger means a signal word indicating the more severe hazard categories;
(b) Warning means a signal word indicating the less severe hazard categories.
SKIN CORROSION: The production of irreversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.
SKIN IRRITATION: The production of reversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.
SKIN SENSITIZER: A substance that will induce an allergic response following skin contact.
Also see contact sensitiser.
SOLID: A substance or mixture which does not meet the definitions of liquid or gas.
SPR: Structure Property Relationship
SUBSTANCE: A chemical element and its compounds in the natural state or obtained by any manufacturing process, including any additive necessary to preserve its stability and any impurity deriving from the process used, but excluding any solvent which may be separated without affecting the stability of the substance or changing its composition.
SUBSTANCE WHICH, IN CONTACT WITH WATER, EMITS FLAMMABLE GASES: A solid or liquid substance or mixture which, by interaction with water, is liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable gases in dangerous quantities.
SUPPLEMENTAL LABEL ELEMENT: Any additional non-harmonized type of information supplied on the container of a hazardous product that is not required or specified under the MSDS GHS. In some cases this information may be required by other competent authorities or it may be additional information provided at the discretion of the manufacturer/distributor.
SUPPLIER OF A SUBSTANCE OR A MIXTURE: Any manufacturer, importer, downstream user or distributor placing on the market a substance or a mixture.
SYMBOL: A graphical element intended to succinctly convey information.
TECHNICAL NAME: A name that is generally used in commerce, regulations and codes to identify a substance or mixture, other than the IUPAC or CAS name, and that is recognized by the scientific community. Examples of technical names include those used for complex mixtures (e.g., petroleum fractions or natural products), pesticides (e.g., ISO or ANSI systems), dyestuffs (Color Index system) and minerals.
UNCED: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNCETDG/GHS: The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
UN: United Nations
UNEP: United Nations Environment Program
UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNITAR: The United Nations Institute for Training and Research
UN RTDG: The United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods
UNSCEGHS: The United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
UNSCETDG: The United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods
USE: Any processing, formulation, consumption, storage, keeping, treatment, filling into containers, transfer from one container to another, mixing, production of an article or any other utilization.