A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with a chemical product. It also contains information on the use, storage, handling and emergency procedures all related to the hazards of the material. The MSDS contains much more information about the material than the label. MSDSs are prepared by the supplier or manufacturer of the material. It is intended to tell what the hazards of the product are, how to use the product safely, what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, what to do if accidents occur, how to recognize symptoms of overexposure, and what to do if such incidents occur. (www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/msdss.html)
Here’s a great article on how to read an MSDS: www.chicagoartistsresource.org/art-hazard-news-3-general-safety-and-health-ingredients-13-material-safety-data-sheets/understanding
Manufacturers of products containing chemicals are required by law to give an MSDS sheet to their clients. The law, however, does not require the sheets to by accurate. We should, therefore, be circumspect about how much to believe what is reported on these sheets. The INGREDIENTS in a product are required information, but First Aid, Hazards, and Precautions are not necessarily accurate or applicable to how we’re using the product.
MSDS sheets only give us a very narrow look at the product; what we do TO and WITH the product is a big part of what may make the product problematic for our health.
Learning how to read an MSDS is the first step in educating yourself about a particular product or chemical. From there, you can decide if you feel safe using that material, what specific safety measures you need to take, and where you need to do more in-depth research.
Specific MSDS related to printmaking substrates:
- Henry Premium Multipurpose Carpet and Sheet Vinyl Adhesive (For mounting lino on board)
- Purebond Plywood
- Henry Premium Multipurpose Carpet and Sheet Vinyl Adhesive (For mounting lino on board) & www.wwhenry.com/assets/Products/Documents/wwh-356-msds-us-cn-e.pdf
- Golden Cut Linoleum
- Battleship Gray linoleum
- Blick’s Wonder-cut linoleum