A SAFETY MOMENT IN TIME THAT REMINDS FOLKS THAT WHAT WAS GOOD IS STILL AROUND FOR THE PROTECTION OF WORKERS!
Although they are regulated by law,
safety data sheets ( SDS ) are older than most modern regulatory agencies. The earliest records detailing chemical ingredients come from the Egyptian physician, Imhotep, who recorded how he treated various ailments. What began as individualized prescriptions and recipes over 4,000 years ago have now evolved into the global system for communicating crucial information about chemicals.
A rudimentary version of a safety data sheet can be found as early as 300 B.C. when Greek philosophers and doctors succeeded in their experiments to create new medicines from natural chemicals. These early medical experiments became more organized as the Romans expanded and standardized their production of pharmaceuticals to their legions across Europe.
The prevalence and utility of these early records shifted between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. However, the proliferation of the printing press in the 15th century, and standardized measurement in the 17th, made possible the recognizable forms of the safety data sheet that we know today.
By the late 19th century, more formal SDS often accompanied products. Insurance companies and budding fire departments also pushed for greater documentation of hazardous materials.
The format of the safety data sheet continues to change as the old MSDS is phased out in favor of the SDS used in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The GHS, which will enhance protection of humans and the environment throughout the world, went into effect for U.S. manufacturers in 2015. As of June 2016, workplace notices must also comply with GHS standards.