Many companies use safety data sheet software for updating, searching and viewing SDSs. What surprises people is that under the REACH regulation in Europe, companies must produce something called an extended-Safety-Data-Sheet, or e-SDS.
REACH regulation is the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals — Europe’s famous regulatory behemoth for managing hazardous substances in the marketplace. If you use hazardous substances registered under REACH, your suppliers now have to provide you with a new, extended safety data sheet that includes exposure scenarios.
What’s an exposure scenario?
Exposure scenarios are the new, key element in safety documentation. They include safe use conditions, the operational conditions and necessary risk management measures.
In other words, exposure scenarios say, “We tested this spray paint for spraying paint, and we assume your use will be similar.” But if you want to use the spray can to blow up a balloon, that’s a different story, and for that you will need to get a new exposure scenario from the supplier. Get more detail about exposure scenarios.
What’s in the extended-SDS?
Ideally, the extended safety data sheet should cover all uses in the life cycle of the substance, from manufacture through to waste, including:
- Uses within your own company
- Uses by your customers in their processes or products, i.e. mixtures or articles
- Uses by companies supplied with chemicals by your customers
- Thus, the extended safety data sheet provided by your supplier should include:
- The main technical function of the substance (e.g. flame retardant, pigment, stabilizer) and the uses covered in the exposure scenarios
- Threshold values of the exposure levels for human health and the environment that should not be exceeded, according to the assessment made by your supplier
- Physicochemical data needed to carry out exposure assessments (e.g. water solubility, vapor pressure, biodegradability)
- One or more exposure scenarios containing practical advice on the conditions of safe use, including risk management measures and waste management measures