Hazardous Ingredients 

MSDS Sample
This section contains information regarding the product's (Bowl Descaler Pro's) individual hazardous chemicals. Information given here applies only to the specific chemical(s) listed (In this case, hydrochloric acid.), and not to the product as a whole. In this section you might see the terms TLV (Threshold Limit Value) and PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit). Both terms are used to express the airborne concentration levels of a chemical to which most persons can safely be exposed during a normal workday. Another term, C.A.S. (Chemical Abstract Service), will usually be listed in this section of the MSDS. The C.A.S. numbers identify specific chemicals. Our sample MSDS shows the PEL and TLV-TWA for this particular product is 5 ppm C. The C stands for ceiling. A ceiling limit is not to be exceeded at any time during the work shift. 5 ppm C is the PEL for 100% hydrochloric acid. Only about 25% of Bowl Descaler Pro is hydrochloric acid. Later sections of the MSDS describe what precautions (protective equipment, ventilation, etc.) should be taken to reduce your exposure to the hazardous chemical.

Some companies issue an MSDS for a product even though it has no hazardous ingredients. (See sample at bottom of this page.) This is not required by OSHA, but it is still a common practice.

What does the TLV shown on the MSDS mean to our staff and students? Monona Rossol, an industrial hygienist and author who also runs Arts, Crafts, and Theater Safety, an organization formed to promote safety in the Arts, says:

Expensive and complicated air-sampling and analysis are usually required to prove that Threshold Limit Values are exceeded. For this reason, Threshold Limit Values are primarily useful...as proof that a substance is considered toxic, and that measures should be taken to limit exposure...Any product which emits a substance with a TLV is out of the question for grade 6 and under or for students of any age with certain health problems. How do I use TLVs? It's easy: the lower the TLV, the less is allowed in the workplace air, and the less you should inhale. On this basis, safer substitutes can be chosen by selecting products with higher TLVs (if evaporation rates and other traits are similar). For example, the TLVs below show us that odorless thinner is safer to use than turpentine.
 

GAS or VAPOR (molecules in air)   TLV-TWA (parts/million-ppm) 

ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol)              1000 
odorless paint thinner                      300 
turpentine                                  100 
n-hexane (e.g. rubber cement thinner)        50 
carbon tetrachloride                          5 
phosgene (chemical warfare gas)               0.1

Ms. Rossol also points out that TLVs are generalizations, and can differ from person to person. TLVs are estimates and can change based on new research. Many hazardous chemicals do not have TLVs established due to a lack of research, so even chemicals without TLVs should not be considered "safe." Treat all chemicals with respect and protect yourself.

Ms. Rossol's comments have been edited here. If you would like to read some of her original material, contact Gary Pankow. He has a copy of her book The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide that he might let you borrow.


Part of an MSDS for product with no hazardous ingredients.

                                       *****MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET*****
 

Borden, Inc.                                 Emergency Telephone (614) 431-6600
Packaging and Industrial Products Division   NON-EMERGENCY TELEPHONE
180 East Broad Street                        800-848-9400 (MSDS, ORDERS)
Columbus, Ohio 43215                         614-431-6680 (TECH. INFO.)

DESCRIPTION:  ELMER'S SCHOOL GLUE            CUR ISS 06-NOV-92

PRODUCT TYPE: PVAC BASED ADHESIVE    

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SIGNAL WORD

This material is not a "health hazard" or a "physical hazard" as determined 
when reviewed according to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Standard.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

CHEMICAL HAZARD RATING

    HEALTH=0 (least)
      FIRE=0 (least)
REACTIVITY=0 (least)

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