GHS Safety Data Sheets Explained: Section 16
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
Section 16: Other Information
Section 16 of the safety data sheet should include information that does not fit into the other sections but is still relevant to safely using, handling or transporting the product. The supplier should also provide details of every review and update of the SDS.
Examples of the different types of information you can find in Section 16:
Abbreviation and acronyms
Details and explanations of the abbreviations or acronyms used through the safety data sheet.
Classification and the procedure used to derive the classification for mixtures according to Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 [CLP]
If the suppliers state the method used, this will assist you in classifying your own mixture, if you formulate your own mixtures using the product.
Indication of changes
Where a safety data sheet has been reviewed and revised, the supplier must issue an updated SDS. If they do not provide this information in another section of the safety data sheet, the supplier must provide the details of any changes made to it in Section 16.
Suppliers are required to keep a record of the reasons they reviewed and updated their SDS. If you request it, they must provide it. However, they do not need to include this information on the safety data sheet.
Key reference and sources of data
The supplier should provide information on where they acquired their data referred to in the safety data sheet. They may include general references (e.g. EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits) or they may provide more detailed references (e.g. EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits: List of WELs for use with COSHH, ISBN:9780717667031).
Please note: If you find that you possess information more recent that the supplier has provided you should check with them if your safety data sheet is the most up-to-date revision and whether there have been changes that might affect the classification of the product.
Relevant hazard statements (number and full text)
Here the supplier should include a list of all the hazard statement and precautionary statements that appear in the safety data sheet if they weren't in full elsewhere.
Here the supplier will provide information on any specific training that employers should provide for their employees before they allow the product to be used.
You may also find full details of:
Article category (AC).
Chemical product category (PC).
Any trademark registrations.
Sector of Use (SU).
Process category (PROC).
Environmental release category (ERC).
If you do not find information similar to that mentioned here you should contact the supplier and ask them to review and reissue their safety data sheet, including the relevant Section 16 information.
Annexes to the safety data sheet
Article category (AC)
Articles categories describe the types of article the substance may be processed into. An article is an object that is specially designed, shaped or surfaced during production. This determines its function to a greater degree than the chemical composition (e.g. battery, telephone).
This is inclusive of those chemicals in their dry or cured forms (e.g. printed ink or a coat of paint on a wall).
Further information on the use descriptors can be found under Chapter R. 12 of the European Chemical Safety Agency guidance documents, 'Guidance on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment'.
Chemical product category (PC)
A descriptor (e.g. PC1: Adhesives, sealants) indicating what type of product the substance is to be used for by the downstream user. These product categories provide more information on the potential for exposure rather than a technical description of the specific uses.
A full list of the standardised uses identified for the product.
The ECHA use descriptor system allows great consistency between suppliers (standardised descriptors) and allows downstream users to easily identify whether their intended use is included in the Exposure Scenarios.
Many safety data sheets will have a disclaimer included in Section 16.
Exposure scenarios (ES)
Exposure scenarios are designed to provide information to downstream users that allows them to work safely with hazardous substances. They should include details on how the product might be used in the workplace.
Exposure scenarios are communicated through an extended safety data sheet, which are a requirement under REACH for substances - or individual ingredients of mixtures - which were registered and assigned a REACH registration number and are imported or produced in excess of 10 tonnes per year.
The supply of the safety data sheet should also include information on how people and the environment could be exposed and how to properly protect both through the use of exposure control measures.
Please note: If you're a formulator, or receive an SDS from a formulator, it should include exposure scenarios for each ingredient in the mixture.
It is your responsibility to ensure your intended use of a hazardous substance is listed as an exposure scenario in the case you receive an extended safety data sheet. If your intended use is not covered then you must contact the supplier and ask them to develop it, or you may develop your own - along with a chemical safety report - under certain circumstances.
If you do not meet those requirements, and the supplier refuses to develop the exposure scenario for you, you may need to consider choosing a new supplier.
If you feel there is information missing you should contact the supplier for clarification. THeuy may explain that the information is provided throughout the other sections of the SDS or that the information is not required for the substance.
Sector of Use (SU)
The sector of use descriptor (e.g. SU1: Agriculture, forestry, fishery) indicates which sector of the economy the product is generally used in. This includes your own formulation of the product into new mixtures, and industrial, professional and consumer end-uses.
Process category (PROC)
A descriptor (e.g. PROC7: Industrial spraying) indicating the different types of task or process the product may be used in.
Environmental release category (ERC)
A descriptor (e.g. ERC7: Industrial use of a substance in closed systems) indicating the users which may have an adverse effect on the environment.
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This article was originally published by the team over at Sevron Ltd and has been shared here with full permissions.