What are SDS and how to spot a fake.
SDS are Safety Data Sheets, they were previously known as MSDS or Material Data Safety Sheets but these older sheets used to vary depending on their country of origin where as the newer SDS follow a standardised format. SDS list information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of products. Essentially SDS catalog the chemicals, chemical compounds and chemical mixes included in the product and are a widely used system across all industries from washing up liquid to glue to nail products.
SDS should contain information on the safe use and potential hazards associated with the product and are not really designed for the general public to use, its more about occupational safety or working safely with the product, which is why as a Nail Technician we need to have a level of understanding about SDS, it is often a caveat in your public liability insurance that you hold copies of SDS for all products used on clients. In order to spot a fake you need to know how a proper SDS should be formatted.
There is an internationally agreed 16 section standard format with or without an Annex, the sections should be: (source Wikipedia)
• SECTION 1: Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking
• 1.1. Product identifier
• 1.2. Relevant identified uses of the substance or mixture and uses advised against
• 1.3. Details of the supplier of the safety data sheet
• 1.4. Emergency telephone number
• SECTION 2: Hazards identification
• 2.1. Classification of the substance or mixture
• 2.2. Label elements
• 2.3. Other hazards
• SECTION 3: Composition/information on ingredients
• 3.1. Substances
• 3.2. Mixtures
• SECTION 4: First aid measures
• 4.1. Description of first aid measures
• 4.2. Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
• 4.3. Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed
• SECTION 5: Firefighting measures
• 5.1. Extinguishing media
• 5.2. Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
• 5.3. Advice for firefighters
• SECTION 6: Accidental release measure
• 6.1. Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures
• 6.2. Environmental precautions
• 6.3. Methods and material for containment and cleaning up
• 6.4. Reference to other sections
• SECTION 7: Handling and storage
• 7.1. Precautions for safe handling
• 7.2. Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
• 7.3. Specific end use(s)
• SECTION 8: Exposure controls/personal protection
• 8.1. Control parameters
• 8.2. Exposure controls
• SECTION 9: Physical and chemical properties
• 9.1. Information on basic physical and chemical properties
• 9.2. Other information
• SECTION 10: Stability and reactivity
• 10.1. Reactivity
• 10.2. Chemical stability
• 10.3. Possibility of hazardous reactions
• 10.4. Conditions to avoid
• 10.5. Incompatible materials
• 10.6. Hazardous decomposition products
• SECTION 11: Toxicological information
• 11.1. Information on toxicological effects
• SECTION 12: Ecological information
• 12.1. Toxicity
• 12.2. Persistence and degradability
• 12.3. Bioaccumulative potential
• 12.4. Mobility in soil
• 12.5. Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
• 12.6. Other adverse effects
• SECTION 13: Disposal considerations
• 13.1. Waste treatment methods
• SECTION 14: Transport information
• 14.1. UN number
• 14.2. UN proper shipping name
• 14.3. Transport hazard class(es)
• 14.4. Packing group
• 14.5. Environmental hazards
• 14.6. Special precautions for user
• 14.7. Transport in bulk according to Annex II of MARPOL73/78 and the IBC Code
• SECTION 15: Regulatory information
• 15.1. Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture
• 15.2. Chemical safety assessment
• SECTION 16: Other information
• 16.2. Date of the latest revision of the SDS
Example from CND of an SDS including all 16 sections:
In the UK we are (at the time of writing) regulated by the European Union REACH laws and our own COSHH (Control of substances hazardous to health) legislation which governs the use of hazardous chemicals In the workplace and specifically requires an employer to assess the substance, while regulation 12 requires that an employer provides employees with information, instruction and training for people exposed to hazardous substances.
The SDS is the starting point for this assessment and training. In the nail industry the training we receive should cover the safe use of the product, but sadly these courses often fall short. In order to properly protect yourself and your clients from over exposure it is import to study your SDS for the products you use.
If you’re purchasing products to use on your clients you need to steer clear of anything that you can’t get hold of SDS information for, you are usually required to hold this information for your business liability insurance, so that in the event of an emergency such as a severe allergic reaction you have the information to hand for medical personnel to provide appropriate treatment. Similarly in the event of a claim against you, you can prove that you have SDS and that you have used the product in a proper manner.
Spotting a fake SDS
This can be difficult, we are not scientists or chemists after all.
Buying your products from professional only, respectable brands or wholesalers will make collecting SDS easy as they will usually hold this information and be able to send it to you. Some even have SDS available to freely download on their websites.
If you decide to purchase elsewhere always ask for copies of SDS, if they are reluctant to supply them it’s best not to buy, and steer clear!
If they do supply SDS, make sure the SDS has all 16 sections, often fakes are extremely brief and have only one or two sections, this is a major red flag.
If they have the 16 sections, does each section contain the required information? Again any deviation should be treated with extreme caution. In the UK the HSE (Heath and Safety Executive) can help if you aren’t sure the information is legitimate or correct.
My personal opinion is that if there’s any doubts in my mind about the SDS I won’t buy the product. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Here are some useful links:
The HSE – SDS information
Some examples of correct SDS information for Lecentè products:
Thanks for reading my blog, please give me a follow if you enjoyed it. I’d love to read your feedback, do you have SDS for your products? Have you ever had problems obtaining SDS? Also if there’s a nail related subject you like me to investigate I’d be happy to hear about it. ✨💅🏻😊💅🏻✨