Ethanol MSDS

Ethanol MSDS

Ethanol, being a chemical compound and highly flammable byproduct of an industrialized process, requires that an MSDS accompany it should it ever be transported or stored in any location that outside of the initial public facility (and even at the public facility if it is to be stored in any general area that could potentially be accessed by any number of people). An MSDS for any chemical compound stands for “material safety data sheet” and rates the overall stability (or lack thereof) of the chemical, overall flammability and the general health risk the chemical poses to humans.

For ethanol the overall stability rating is zero, the flammability rating is three and the health rating is two. This diamond safety rating is determined by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, and helps provide guidelines for general ethanol handling and use for those who normally must deal with the chemical substance. In this case the higher the number is the more dangerous the compound is, therefore ethanol is considered to be highly stable albeit a moderate health and flammability risk.

The manufacturer at the time of the ethanol’s production will produce the MSDS to accompany the ethanol and the diamond safety rating from the NFPA will be standard at the bottom of the form, though occasionally specifics at the top will change accordingly. These top specifics generally reflect the manufacture location, specific manufacturer details, chemical concentration levels and other details. The sheets also should include the chemical specifics of the ethanol as well as any other hazards associated with it in addition to how to properly handle those hazards (for example, should ethanol accidentally make contact with an individual’s eyes the eyes should be flushed immediately with water).

Given ethanol’s potential health risk factor an MSDS for ethanol should also list any specific health factors it can affect or complications it can cause, including individual organs it can affect. In ethanol’s case this can include the skin, kidneys, heart, liver and central nervous system in general. Much like standard food-grade alcohol used for consumption ethanol can also cause birth defects as well as internal intestinal tract irritation should it ever be consumer. In the event of any accidental release or individual exposure to ethanol the MSDS should list various first aid treatment options.

Due to the flammable nature of ethanol the MSDS should list proper storage and containment procedures in addition to health factors in order to property store chemical containers and prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring. This includes keeping the containers away from any flammable or potentially flammable objects as well as storing and disposing of used containers appropriately in order to limit the likelihood of accidental combustion.

In order to find a copy of an MSDS should you ever need to deal with ethanol and reference any material contained within the MSDS it should either be found accompanying any chemical shipments or commonly filed away in a lab binder for easy reference. Before handling ethanol or any other chemical make sure that you reference the MSDS to make sure you fully understand the chemical and how to respond should an emergency occur in addition to how to best prevent any emergencies from ever occurring.

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