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As you search for the best synthetic turf and turf infill combination, there are many factors to consider. Product performance, longevity, sustainability, and so on. One often overlooked piece of information is a product’s SDS.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), now abbreviated as Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents that provide useful information on chemicals, products, or components. They describe the hazards, or lack of, that a product presents. They also provide information on proper handling, storage, and emergency measures in case of an accident, spill, or exposure. In 2012, the International Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) revised the requirements of an SDS to make it a more user-friendly and easy to follow format. The HCS allowed a grace period for manufacturers to update their MSDS to the new SDS format, and as of 2015 all manufacturers should now follow the new 16 section format.
The new SDS format also adheres to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals. This GHS system is an international standard, ensuring that an SDS will be similar from country to country. The GHS is a set of guidelines first developed by the United Nations. It is used to classify chemical data, identify health/physical/environmental hazards, ensure safe manufacturing/handling/use, and provide a well-defined system to communicate a chemicals information and protective measures.
The new 16 section format is ordered in a way that the first eight sections of the SDS provide quick information required by product handlers or emergency personnel. Sections nine to eleven include technical information, physical properties, and chemical properties. Sections twelve to fifteen are not mandatory but are required to have a fully GHS compliant SDS. The final section includes information about the SDS such as revision date(s) and changes since last revision. Consumers and product handlers would look at an SDS differently from one another. A synthetic turf or infill consumer/end user would likely only find benefit from sections 1, 2, 3 and 8. A synthetic turf or infill handler (warehousing, transportation, etc) would find benefit from sections 1 through 8 as they have different interactions with the synthetic turf and infill than a typical consumer. Whatever your role, it will always be helpful to review each SDS section to fully understand your synthetic turf and infill product.
It is recommended that companies have readily available for all employees an SDS for each product they handle/store. Of course, this is much more important when dealing with hazardous products/chemicals, but it doesn’t hurt to have one for ALL products including the non-hazardous. If an employer does not have an SDS available for a particular chemical or product, they should contact the manufacturer to obtain the latest version. As a consumer, you should request a product’s SDS, so you can learn more about the products you purchase.