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Chemical Safety Board Guidance on SDSs

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) following its investigation of an explosion at the Barton Solvents distribution facility in Valley Center, Kansas concluded that the most likely cause of the explosion was a static spark resulting from a loosely-linked level-measuring float within the tank.  The spark ignited the air-vapor mixture inside the tank as it was being filled. The CSB determined that the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs or SDSs) for some of the most widely used nonconductive flammable liquids in industry, such as VM&P Naphtha, hexane and toluene, failed to recommend specific precautions beyond bonding and grounding.  

The CSB has asked API and other petroleum and chemical industry associations to suggest to members that they consider improving the warnings on the SDSs for flammable liquids because these materials can accumulate static electricity.

Click on the document below to view CSB Recommendations on Safety Data Sheets and Update on Revised Standards for SDSs and Precautionary Labeling

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