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Hazard Labelling / Material Safety Data Sheets
Inks, varnishes and auxiliary products for the graphic industry are classified as chemical products intended for industrial use and therefore are covered by legislation relating to the safety of persons and the environment. This legislation is constantly evolving, to a large extent due to harmonisation within the European Union, but also due to modifications in the classification of chemical substances.
Two measures have been put in place to ensure users have access to the necessary health and safety information:
1. Labelling of hazardous preparations
2. Material Safety Data Sheets


1. Leballing of hazardous preparations

The labelling and packaging of preparations classified as hazardous must comply with the European Directive 99/45 of 31st May 1999. Preparations are classified as hazardous if they can cause occupational illnesses, work accidents or if they present a risk to the environment.
The labelling of aerosols is governed by the CEE Directive 94/1 of 6th January 1994. In addition, another Directive concerns the abolition of the use of CFCs in aerosols. The aim of this labelling is to inform the user of any hazards associated with the product and what precautions to take during storage, use and waste disposal.
Hazardous inks, varnishes and auxiliary products are labelled in the following manner:
 
REACH-labelling of hazardous preparations
 
The different symbols and hazard signs used and likely to be encountered in the graphic industry are as follows:
 
REACH-labelling of hazardous preparations
2. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Material Safety Data Sheets provide all of the necessary information on the storage, handling and use of «hazardous» preparations. The lay out of these safety data sheets complies with European Directive 91/155/CEE of the 5th March 1991, which was published in the Official Journal CE L 76 of the 22nd March 1991. This Directive sets out the way information concerning hazardous preparations should be presented.
The Material Safety Data Sheet contains 16 headings. It is intended for the end user of the product, and provides information on the necessary precautions to take when handling and using the product. It concerns preparations classified as potentially hazardous to persons or the environment. It contains the following headings:

1. Product identification
Each product is described in this section either as a substance or as a preparation. In the case of inks and varnishes, preparations are always involved.

2. Composition and information on the ingredients
The ingredients contributing to the hazards are indicated in this chapter along with the associated risk phrase(s).

3. Hazards identification
This section provides a brief and clear description of the hazards associated with the product.

4. First aid measures
This section describes the immediate actions that have to be taken in emergency situations.
It should be pointed out that the measures indicated only concern first aid measures, and medical advice should be sought each time this is indicated, or if there is any doubt about the effectiveness of the treatment.

5. Fire fighting measures
This section mainly covers the extinguishing media that should be used.

6. Accidental release measures
This section details any actions that need to be taken in the case of accidental spillage of the product.

7. Handling and storage
This section gives details of the recommendations for storage, transport and transfer of the products.

8. Exposure controls / Individual protection
Technical measures (type of ventilation in workshops) and recommendations on individual protection measures are detailed in this section. They concern the product as supplied by the manufacturer.
Threshold limit exposure values (TLV) and time weighted average exposure values (TWA or TWAEV) may also be given. These values, given for a specific chemical compound, represent the concentration in air that a person can breathe for a given time without any irreversible risk to his / her health. The threshold limit values should be considered as minimum objectives.

9. Physical and chemical properties
The physical and chemical properties given in this section are provided for information purposes. The various sub-headings are filled in if they have an importance for the product concerned.

10. Stability and reactivity
This section describes any instability risk associated with the product and the precautions to take to avoid them. It also provides information on any incompatibility between products, which could cause a reaction, and any hazards that may arise from this reaction.

11. Toxicological information
The information given in this section comes from animal experiments and monitoring of humans using the substances in question. The nature of any acute or chronic risks arising from inhalation, skin contact, eye contact and ingestion are described in this section.

12. Ecological information
This information concerns the evolution of the chemical substance and its effects on the environment.

13. Disposal considerations
In certain cases, the disposal of substances is governed by European, national or local legislation. The end user is responsible for finding out the regulations and for employing accredited methods for the disposal of the products concerned.

14. Transport information
Each method of transport is governed by specific measures for the transport of hazardous materials. Information pertaining to each case is detailed.

15. Regulatory information
The hazard labelling and Risk (R) and Safety (S) phrases are given in this section. The rules for classifying and labelling substances derive from European Directives covering hazardous substances and preparations.

16. Other information
The Material Safety Data Sheet is a more complete version of the label. It is the identity card of the product and avoids the occupational health physician having to carry out specific analyses.

The REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) (see «The REACH regulation») will in time replace the present Directive concerning material safety data sheets. The existing obligations and responsibilities will be maintained and extended by the obligation to transmit information on any chemical safety assessment.

In REACH, exposure scenarios will describe the risk management provisions that the manufacturer or importer must itself put in place and that it recommends are implemented by users further down the supply chain. The exposure scenarios, the key elements of the “exposure” part of the report on chemical safety, will be appended to the material safety data sheets.
 

How to obtain Material Safety Data Sheets for Brancher products
Customers can freely obtain the MSDS for any Brancher product they use
 
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