Decoding SDS Section 7: Handling and Storage

Section 6 of the SDS covers accidental release measures, or any spill, leak, or release of the chemical at hand. Naturally, Section 7 addresses how to store and handle the chemical safely in the first place. If these guidelines are properly followed, ideally no “accidental releases” would occur. However, this is precisely why Section 7 must be followed exactly as written. This section focuses on precautions for safe handling and recommendations for how to best store the chemicals.

Precautions for safe handing encompass a variety of instructions. This may include “wash hands thoroughly after handling,” “do not get on eyes or on skin or clothing,” “do not breathe vapor or mist,” “do not ingest,” or “wear appropriate respirator when ventilation is inadequate.” Most of the precautions listed here are typical when it comes to handling any chemical. An example of a specific precaution to handle would be a temperature range to operate in, or even a statement about the chemical embedded in the content.

Section 7 must contain definitive details for how to handle incompatible chemicals, meaning they produce an undesired reaction when mixed. Fires, explosions, or even the formation of toxic chemicals could result from the mishandling of chemicals. It is important to note that two chemicals that are not toxic individually may become toxic when combined. This is why it must be explicitly stated if the chemical being handled has an incompatible chemical, and if so what. Section 10 also explicitly lists incompatible chemicals.

Minimizing the release of chemicals into the environment is another area discussed in this section of the SDS. An example of a statement related to this precaution is “open container carefully as product appears to be under pressure.” Routine hygiene practices may also be listed here, such as no eating, drinking, or smoking in work areas.

Another necessary piece of information is how to safely store the chemical at hand. This may include a temperature range in which the chemical needs to be stored, or even ventilation requirements. “Dry, cool, and well-ventilated” is an example of such requirements.   

Overall Section 7 of the SDS is vital to helping prevent any guideline in Section 6 have to be used.

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