Material Safety Data Sheet - MSDS should specify how to make the material innocuous

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Lyndon Diong

#1
I've read many MSDS regarding chemical compound and all of it states that the disposal of the material should follow the local legislation. There are uncountable number of products that are manufactured and sold to industries. I am doubtful the local governing body is able to track all of these products; hence the laws are quite general. I feel that the MSDS should specify the method of making the materials innocuous. The material manufacturers should be responsible to find a method of making the material innocuous rather than the user of the material.

Any comment?

By the way, I do understand that to prevent law suit, MSDS usually provide the worse case scenario. But sometimes it makes the material to be so dangerous that I think the material should not be sold at all.

:(
 
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David Mullins

#2
NO WAY.

Every country is different, and even then they can change the rules regularly.
I've had this discussion before with our Environmental Protection Agency, and they have said the same thing - NO WAY!
 
#3
Local legislation

We must look at this term with the viewpoint that even national regulations are local. This means that you must dispose of them in a legal manner. If the control of specific chemicals are not governed by the localist (is this a word?), then the level of control could be tracked to a higher level.

Part of the ISO 14001 requirement is you must have access to your legal requirements. You must know how to deal with the chemical disposal.

I do agree that it would be great if manufacturers could have something that would tell you how to make the chemical inert, but that would probably actually increase the danger as companies "experiement" because they don't have the necessary ingredients and technology.
 
D

Dean P.

#4
QUOTE "I do agree that it would be great if manufacturers could have something that would tell you how to make the chemical inert, but that would probably actually increase the danger as companies "experiement" because they don't have the necessary ingredients and technology."

Good point Dave. You need to consider the liabilities involved as well. If I am a supplier of hydrochloric acid, I could easily state on my MSDS that you simply need to neutralize it with a caustic material, such as sodium hydroxide. But you know that some bonehead will try to pour 100 gallons of caustic into a tank of acid, thinking he is doing the right thing. Next thing you know - BOOM - I'm being sued for $100 quadrillion dollars, because I told him how to dispose of the material.

The key part is knowing exactly what materials you are using, and how your laws describe their disposal.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#5
Here we go getting our T-T in the wringer over MSDS sheets again.

MSDS sheets are required to contain information needed for worker safety. The required information contained on them is specified by the US Dept of Labor (OSHA). There is no specific format requirement, only minimal information. What you have read about disposal is absolutely correct and all that is required. 29CFR1910.1200 contains the information you need to understand MSDS sheets. Many times all you get is the name of the material, the name and address of the manufacturer, and the phone number for CHEMTREC

You can use them as aids in your HW program and maybe in your emergency program, but don't depend on them 100%.
 

Manoj Mathur

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
MSDS is helpful not only in disposing the material but we took lot of help from MSDS regarding storing and all the precautions while handling the material. Hence we have made mandatory in our company to obtain MSDS alongwith first supply of material.
 
A

Al Dyer

#7
Very good advice people!!

On another side there are companies that will control chemicals per local/state/federal requirements. The last I heard it was priced at $200/month and increasing as differing chems are added.

Al...
 
E

energy

#8
It's a cop out!

Lyndon Diong said:
I've read many MSDS regarding chemical compound and all of it states that the disposal of the material should follow the local legislation.
You find that statement on just about anything that there is nothing to really worry about. There are those that will make a case for not throwing spent ink cartridges, spent toner tubes, old driedout Whiteout, etc., out with the general refuse, because it's in their interest to do so. Miniscule amounts of a chemical can cause those environmental advisors to scream "foul" if you dump it with the regular trash and report the same. If you report it, expect flak. Common sense. You throw away far more questionable substances in your home garbage. Don't sweat it. If it requires special treatment, the MSDS will say so. Local regulations means, squat! Most incinerator sites could care less. Make sure that your waste company is not dumping in a land fill. If it is, remove all traces of your Company name. Even so, others can dump there and are not to be trusted and the very fact that you are a client of the Waste Management Company that they service, opens you up to a payment of some kind because it gets labeled a "Superfund Site". Been there. Done that. JMHO :bonk: :smokin:
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#9
For disposal you comply with the most stringent legal requirements. If you are going to rely on information contained in MSDS sheets for disposal get a REAL GOOD lawyer!!

MSDS sheets only provide information on material in its virgin state, once a material has been utilized what it is isn't what the MSDS sheet states. It has changed characteristics, been contaminated, mixed with other stuff..all that stuff.

Trust me....don't use an MSDS sheet to characterize waste streams!! I have done this as a primary source of my employment in the past and have stood toe to toe with the Fed EPA and California EPA concerning this exact subject. MSDS sheets are specifically designed for employee and at times consumer safety. That's it.
 

JodiB

Still plugging along
#10
The way I read Lyndon's post is that in some areas (he's from Malaysia) there may not even BE legislation that covers the disposal of certain materials. He is advocating that the manufacturer discuss the proper handling and disposal of the material directly in the MSDS since there is nothing else for the user to consult.

I agree about the lawsuit liabilities, as pointed out, and that the best way to handle it is the way it is commonly done now: provide manufacturer's contact information so that the user can contact and consult with the manufacturer on specific disposal issues.
 
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