The science behind the (extended) safety data sheet

Following popular demand, Chemical Watch’s two-day training course on SDS/eSDSs is being adapted for presentation online, led by expert trainers Laura Robinson and Mark Selby.

The course is aimed at those who need to write or evaluate safety data sheets (SDS) for mixtures using data from incoming (extended) SDSs, or from other sources of information. Understanding the properties of ingredients and the nature of the product mixtures is key to minimising risk to users and meeting regulatory compliance.

Supplier SDSs may not always give all the information needed and, in all cases, it is necessary to interpret all the available information as efficiently and as effectively as possible. Even where supplier SDSs are reliable, the act of mixing substances with different properties will lead to questions on such things as the suitability of exposure reduction methods (such as glove types), on appropriate first aid methods or the appropriate way to clean substance spills. Furthermore, estimating properties and toxicity is a science in its own right and suitable methods will be explored in detail.

This course is designed for those who are involved in receiving and/or writing safety data sheets and need to undertake chemical safety assessments on substances and mixtures. It will particularly help with the communication of this information to recipients of chemicals within the context of product stewardship. To do this effectively, it is necessary to understand how to write SDSs that not only meet regulatory requirements, but more importantly, are useful to the recipient. 

If you are registering under UK REACH, this course will be particularly relevant and insightful.

What you can expect from the training course

The course is split into four sessions. The first two are aimed at those involved in writing and receiving SDSs and will focus on their application to mixtures. Topics to be covered in these sessions include:

  • evaluation of information from supplier SDSs;
  • the use of public databases to enhance confidence in supplier data;
  • using information from suppliers and other sources to prepare SDSs;
  • potential issues of interpreting mixture data for toxicology and ecological sections;
  • classification and data estimation for mixtures;
  • basic physico-chemical data to address other sections of the SDS (such as exposure routes, accidental spillage and clean-up methods, etc);
  • important considerations when writing first aid measures; and
  • risk management measures.

The final two sessions will look at exposure reduction and the interpretation of supplier exposure scenarios when writing SDSs. In particular, they will look at:

  • regulatory requirements; 
  • what 'appropriate' information needs to be supplied;
  • exposure reduction through the use of controls and personal protection;
  • the relevance of substance Dnels, Pnecs and their use in assessing mixtures;
  • preparing an exposure scenario;
  • manual estimates and use of models (such as Euses, Ecetoc, and Chesar);
  • exposure estimates;
  • scaling factors and adapting information for specific sites and uses; and
  • the expected outcome of the communication to recipients.

Is this a key topic of interest for your business? We can run this training course exclusively for your organization, as a tailored learning experience. Email us at for more information