Last Revised: August 25, 2023

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are references used to inform chemical users of the hazards associated with chemicals and to advise users of the appropriate precautions. SDSs are available by contacting Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) or from the internet sources listed below. Many SDSs are also available through search engines such as Google.  SDSs are also located in department stockrooms.  Contact EHRS 215-898-4453 for assistance in interpreting or obtaining an SDS. 

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Safety Data Sheets

Understanding SDSs

What are safety data sheets?

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard requires manufacturers or distributors of hazardous materials to assess the physical and health hazards of the chemical or product. This information must be included in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which must be provided to the purchaser of the product with at least the initial shipment of the chemical. SDSs must be obtained and maintained for every chemical used in the workplace. The Laboratory Standard requires laboratories to keep Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) that are received from the manufacturer. The SDSs must be accessible to all personnel during their work hours.

SDS Information by Section

Safety data sheets will follow the set 16-section format below.






Product identifier used on the label and any other common names or synonyms by which the substance is known and the name, address, phone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party, and emergency phone number.


Hazard Identification

The hazards of the chemical and the appropriate warning information associated with those hazards.  All labeling information.


Composition/ Ingredients

Chemical and common name, CAS number, impurities, and concentration of ingredients in a mixture.


First Aid Measures

Describes the initial care that should be given by untrained responders to an individual who has been exposed to the chemical.


Fire Fighting Measures

Recommendations for fighting a fire caused by the chemical.


Accidental Release Measures

Recommendations on the appropriate response to spills, leaks, or releases, including containment and cleanup practices to prevent or minimize exposure to people, properties, or the environment.


Handling and Storage

Guidance on the safe handling practices and conditions for safe storage of chemicals.


Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Indicates the exposure limits, engineering controls, and personal protective measures that can be used to minimize worker exposure.


Physical and Chemical Properties

Identifies physical and chemical properties associated with the substance or mixture.


Stability and Reactivity

Describes the reactivity hazards of the chemical and the chemical stability information. This section is broken into three parts: reactivity, chemical stability, and other.


Toxicological Information

Identifies toxicological and health effects information or indicates that such data are not available.


Ecological Information

(Non-mandatory) Provides information to evaluate the environmental impact of the chemical(s) if it were released to the environment.


Disposal Considerations

(Non-mandatory) Provides guidance on proper disposal practices, recycling or reclamation of the chemical(s) or its container, and safe handling practices.


Transport Information

(Non-mandatory) Provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical(s) by road, air, rail, or sea.


Regulatory Information

(Non-mandatory) Identifies the safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product that is not indicated anywhere else on the SDS.


Other Information

This section indicates when the SDS was prepared or when the last known revision was made.

University of Pennsylvania SDS form

The University of Pennsylvania Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Template below should be prepared when shipping materials created at the University of Pennsylvania.  The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires an SDS at the time of first shipment of a hazardous product.  The information on the SDS is also used for proper shipping labeling.


University of Pennsylvania Safety Data Sheet Template

How to fill out Penn SDS template

How to request a safety data sheet from EHRS

Click on the red box below to request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS).  If this is an emergency, call EHRS at 215-898-4453.


Reviewed: 1/28/2019