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FREE DATA ACCESS IS A REALITY! Mark Pemberton, Technical Director at MSDS Global, says you can create high quality, multilingual Safety Data Sheets, using his software (HazMix) based on artificial intelligence and free access to Government databases.


ompanies that manufacture and market hazardous chemicals and mixtures require high quality, multilingual Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and labels to meet regulatory requirements for supply and transportation as well as managing product liability. The Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the World Summit held in Johannesburg in 2002 recognised the growing problem that different laws and rules on how to identify the hazardous properties of chemicals (classification) and how this information was communicated through the supply chain (labels and safety data sheets) lead in some cases to miscommunication and potential barriers to international trade. In response the UN developed the ‘Globally Harmonized System’ (GHS) on classification and labelling.1 As a non-legally binding international agreement countries must create local or national legislation to implement GHS within agreed timescales. For example, within the EU, GHS was implemented under the CLP Regulation (EC No 1272/2008), whereas in the US it was adopted under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS; 29 CFR 1910.1200). In other countries the adoption of the various building blocks of GHS and its revisions, has often been delayed2 and implementation of all the building blocks has not necessarily occurred. As a consequence, the global regulatory landscape is far from the uniform system envisaged at the outset. Considering that the international market in chemical substances and mixtures has grown at around 7% p.a. over the past decade with no indication of a slowdown3 together with the complexity of prevailing chemicals’ regulations, it is unavoidable that businesses, more than ever today, require reliable and up-to-date information on these regulations as well as chemical data for classification and SDS production. There are companies that sell access to regulatory and/or other chemical information and others that make the latter available as part of their HSE systems that they offer. More often than not, however, data access is costly and frequently they are not maintained up-to-date i.e. reflecting new data generated by industry to meet European REACH, as well as other REACH-like regulations. This can lead to additional rework costs, liability and damage to corporate image. While the rights to use most reliable chemical data frequently resides with the companies or associations that generate it, the implementation of REACH within the EU and the dissemination of these data via the ECHA portal have made much of these data available to other interested parties for uses other than substance registration.


Speciality Chemicals Magazine 37.05 October 2017

Availability of chemical regulations on the other hand is more disparate, although they are often published in official journals or on governmental websites in the region in which they are developed. The major drawback in this regard is that usually they are only published in local language and as text or image pdfs. While experienced regulatory specialist and service providers may know how to find and interrogate these sources they are virtually inaccessible to most users. Recognising these barriers to access high quality data, Global MSDS developed a product called HazMix. This is an online tool for the compilation of multilingual SDS. It employs artificial intelligence to classify mixtures for supply and transportation according to CLP, GHS and OSHA GHS and produces the output in 38 languages. Chemical data are provided via approved wiki-spiders directly into ECHA and German Gestis online databases, thereby ensuring the data are up-to-date at the time of SDS authoring. These are supplemented by our own databases containing 10,000 translated phrases, 6,500 CLP, GHS and OSHA classifications as well as OELs and BEIs for 112 countries, all CAS indexed. HazMix is delivered over the web and is free of charge up to the point of printing. The use of advanced technologies with economies of scale enables costs can be massively reduced. We also provide free access to our own Chemical Regulations database containing 15,000 global regulations and we are currently trialling a multilingual interface that will allow searching using one language in any regulation in another language. This product will go live before the end of 2017. Global MSDS is passionate about using emerging technologies to leverage available information on regulations and chemicals to the advantage of chemical companies. We believe that the internet and web delivered services are the way forward, since they can raise the quality of SDS and labels while massively reducing costs that can be passed on to users. We believe that through the provision of high quality SDS we will ensure the survival of our industry in an increasingly precautionary society.



1. ghs/ghs_rev04/English/ST-SG-AC10-30-Rev4e.pdf. 2. implementation_e.html. 3. CEFIC Chemical Trends Report. July 2017,

Mark Pemberton, PhD Technical Director MSDS Global Newcastle, UK T: +44 (0)1625 548059 E:

Speciality Chemicals Magazine October 2017  
Speciality Chemicals Magazine October 2017  

Volume 37, Issue 05