Top 30 resources to help with your international MSDS translation project

December 7, 2012

MSDS (material safety data sheet) which is required for export of products containing any potentially harmful chemical, poses a major challenge for translation. These sheets must be written in the official language of the country where the product will be used and must also comply with the laws of that country or region. To help with this task, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of resources for localization or translation of MSDS material for use outside of the U.S.

MSDS Glossaries:

Glossary of MSDS Terms Easy to read PDF
MSDS Glossary 15 pages of MSDS terms
Dictionary of MSDS Terms Extensive dictionary of terms and abbreviations, links to other resource
MSDS Online: hyper-glossary Comprehensive site for MSDS information

Legal Resources:

MSDS Europe Multilingual collection of chemical safety related EU regulations.
U.S. Department of Labor Guide to The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
MSDS Online OSHA Hazard Communication Standard
Official Journal of the European Communities Council of European Communities directive on safety data sheets

Geographical Resources:

UK Health and Safety Executive Information on the United Kingdom’s laws governing MSDS
U.S. Department of Labor Detailed comparison of GHS and OSHA HCS systems
The Australian Safety and Compensation Council Australian National Code of Practice for the Preparation of Material Safety. Data sheets available in PDF
MSDS Online English Translation of Official Mexican Standards
Norway Links to sample templates to download and work from; glossary
European Union LiClassification, Labeling and Packaging (CLP) considerations
Canada Information about GHS implementation in Canada
Japan Information about GHS implementation in Japan

Linguistic Resources:

MSDS Solutions English, German, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and French. Over 3,500,000 MSDS sheets
Eastman Kodak English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Turkish
E.I. Du Pont de Nemous MSDS on their products in almost 50 different languages/countries. ANSI-compliant sheets in PDF format.
Rhodia Silicones Product Finder locates desired product then click MSDS link. ANSI-compliant sheets in HTML format. Different languages available depending on location/region. English to Spanish chemical dictionary with 10,000 entries
Conform-Action Data Systems Sample database  produces English or French ANSI,OSHA and WHMIS-compliant sheets. HTML or PDF.

 Resources for specific fields:

Royal Society of Chemistry: Chemspider For Chemists. Not MSDS, data on chemical properties, sources, links to articles, and MSDS.
Environmental Defense Fund For community activists. Not MSDS, data on human health hazards, risk assessment, rankings, uses, environmental release information and regulatory coverage.
OHSAH MSDS Database For healthcare agencies, hospitals and doctor’s offices. Updated sheets, search by product or manufacturer.
Envirofacts Chemical Databases (U.S. EPA) US EPA information. Not MSDS, but  contains safety/environmental info.

 Supplementary Resources:

MSDSXchange MSDS file sharing system. Search database or manufacturer’s web sites. PDF format; ANSI compliant.
Vermont SIRI Alphabetically by manufacturers or keyword search. Mostly OSHA-style.
New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets (NJHSFS) Straightforward descriptions of common household,workplace and environmental chemicals in English and Spanish.
The National Toxicology Program Health and safety database. Good MSDS-related information.

If you would like additional information on this topic or have questions on planning and executing your next translation or multilingual initiative, contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation or call us at (800) 413-7838.

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