• Dale Allen

GHS Safety Data Sheets Explained: Section 10

Updated: May 4

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity


The information provided in Section 10 will give you an indication of how stable the product is, or what might go wrong with it during use or storage. You will also find certain precautions you should take (e.g. avoid contact with certain other substances, environmental conditions to avoid, etc.).


10.1. Reactivity

Here the supplier will provide information on the known hazardous reactions which might occur during use, storage or transportation of the product. If the product is a mixture then information on the reactivity of the ingredients should be given if there isn't any data available for the product as a whole.


The information given in subsection 10.1 will be a general description of the reactivity. More thorough details will given in subsection 10.3.


Examples of the information you will find here:

  • Contact with metals may release flammable hydrogen.

  • Reacts with reducing agents.

  • Reacts with strong bases.

  • Reacts with water or moisture in the air.

  • Strong oxidising agent.

10.2. Chemical Stability

Here the supplier will provide information on the stability of the product under the condition of use, storage and transport. A stable product will have such stated in this subsection, alongside instructions on how to maintain that stability. However, you should be aware that a statement of stability does not mean the product has an infinite shelf-life.


Examples of the information you will find here:

  • Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to air. Stable under argon atmosphere.

  • No known hazardous reactions when handled and stored according to instructions.

  • Stable at room temperature.

  • Stable under normal conditions of handling and storage.

  • Stable under normal temperature conditions and recommended use.

10.3. Possibility of Hazardous Properties

As stated earlier in this section, subsection 10.3 will provide more detailed information on the consequences of the hazardous reactions which may occur involving the product.


For example, in subsection 10.1, the product may be described as 'reacts with water to create carbon dioxide'. That same product would be described as 'Reactivity with water will cause a pressure build-up in sealed containers with a chance to explode, and presents an asphyxiation hazard.


10.4.Conditions to Avoid

The information provided here should include the physical conditions which may cause problems (e.g. cold, heat, lights, moisture, sources of ignition, etc.). The supplier should also provide you with details of what might happen under those conditions.


10.5. Incompatible Materials

Subsection 10.5 contains information about the common materials that might react with the product (e.g. acids, air, alkalies, even water). The supplier may include generic descriptors or they may include a specific incompatibility.


If the product is an oxidising agent or a combustible, the supplier should warn you to keep it stored a safe distance away from combustible materials.


10.6. Hazardous Decomposition Products

The results when a product breaks down due to it being unstable, or because of its reaction with common elements. The chemicals you get at the end of the process may be hazardous substances and will be listed in order of severity of the hazard they present.


Please note: The information in this Section is closely linked and should be read in conjunction with Sections 2, 5, 6, 7 and 13.


Confused by the many pieces of information provided in those safety data sheets? Join the International Association for Chemical Safety's completely free health and safety academy now and take the Safety Data Sheet Awareness Certification™.


This article was originally published by the team over at Sevron Ltd and has been shared here with full permissions.

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