• Dale Allen

GHS Safety Data Sheets Explained: Section 9

Updated: May 4

Section 9: Information on the Basic Physical and Chemical Properties


In Section 9, the supplier will provide you with information on how the product will act and its physical and chemical properties. This information is vitally important when conducting your risk assessments.

In this section you may find the:

All of this information will assist you when you're conducting your risk assessment and implementing safe working procedures and PPE and training requirements.


If the product has had a chemical safety report written for it, then the data in this section should match the data in the report. If the information does not match, or you feel there is important information missing, you must contact the supplier for advice and clarification.


Every chemical product's safety data sheet should include its basic information, generally formatted in a technical form using standard units of measurement. However, you may find different suppliers using different units. In such cases, you need to convert the numbers yourself to make your comparisons.


9.1. Information on Basic Physical and Chemical Properties

Subsection 9.1 will provide information on the properties of the substance or mixture. The descriptions provide here should match the product. If they don't then you should contact the supplier immediately for clarification.


Please note: These are certain things about the product that might change slightly as it's stored and transported. Contacting the manufacturer can give you quick clarification on what those changes might be.


The REACH regulations place requirements on suppliers to provide certain information in this subsection of safety data sheets. It should be noted, however, that not all SDS will contain a report of each and every property (e.g. a non-flammable substance is very unlikely to have upper and lower flammability limit and auto-ignition values).


A brief explanation of the properties that should appear here, if applicable:

The information in this subsection regarding vapours should be read in conjunction with Sections 2 and 11. This will assist you in determining how dangerous it is and whether the vapour is created at low or high temperatures.


9.2. Other Information

As the title suggests, subsection 9.2 will contain any additional data on the properties of the product which do not fit under subsection 9.1.


Examples of additional properties include the:

  • Bulk density.

  • Content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Dissociation constant.

  • Empirical formula.

  • Miscibility.

  • Molecular weight.

  • Refractive index.

  • Surface tension.

Please note: The information provided in Section 9 is closely linked and should be read in conjunction with Sections 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14.


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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