ACMT Position Statements > Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets

The American College of Medical Toxicology supports the intent of the Federal Regulations which requires Safety Data Sheets (formerly Material Safety Data Sheets) as part of communications to improve safety in the workplace.1

It is the position of ACMT that the format of the SDS should not be expanded to serve as a mechanism to communicate to practitioners of medicine advice on treatment of the health effects of chemical exposure other than first aid measures. As an alternative, the SDS should include a referral mechanism through which advice on treatment is available from a physician board-certified in medical toxicology. If one is not available, advice can be obtained from a poison control center.  

First aid recommendations should be intended for first responders and include specific treatment only when there is an antidote or intervention generally accepted as effective, and early administration could substantially improve outcome. The first aid section should be developed under the supervision of a physician. Additionally, SDS should include a complete listing of preservatives in Section 3 and allergens/sensitizers in Sections 2, 3, 11, 15, or 16.2,3  For complete and accurate information, special attention should be given to engineered nanoparticles.  This information should be reported on the SDS within three months of being discovered.4,5

The individual or organization responsible for the content should be identified and the source of listed health hazards should be cited.


While individual practitioners may differ, this is the position of the College at the time written, after a review of the issue and pertinent literature.


  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA Hazard Communication Standards. US Code of Federal Regulations. 42 CFR 1910: 1200.
  2. Friis UF, Menne T,  Flyvholm MA, Bonde JP, Johansen JD. Difficulties in using material safety data sheets to analyze occupational exposures to contact allergens. Contact Dermatitis 2015; 72(3):147-153.
  3. Suleiman AM, Svendsen KV. Are safety data sheets for cleaning products used in Norway a factor contributing to the risk of workers exposure to chemicals? Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014; 27(5):840-5.
  4. Radnoff D. Accuracy of reported flash point values on material safety data sheets and the impact on product classification. J Occup Environ Hyg 2013; 10(10):540-546.
  5. Eastlake A, Hodson L, Geraci C, Crawford C. A critical evaluation of material safety data sheets (MSDS) for engineered nanomaterials. Chem Health Saf 2012; 19(5):1-8.