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Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Translating (Material) Safety Data Sheets, MSDS

SV: Säkerhetsdatablad
FI: Käyttöturvallisuustiedote
NO: Sikkerhetsdatablad
DA: Sikkerhedsdatablad


A safety data sheet (SDS) is a form containing data regarding the properties of a particular substance. SDS information may include instructions for the safe use and potential Occupational safety and health associated with a particular material or product. There is also a duty to properly label substances on the basis of physico-chemical, health and/or environmental risk. Labels can include hazard symbols such as the European Union standard black diagonal cross on an orange background, used to denote a harmful substance. In some jurisdictions, the SDS is required to state the chemical's risks, safety and impact on the environment.    

Using reference material for SDS translations

The SDS format used in EU countries is based on EU directives (most importantly EU directives 91/155/EC and 2010/453/EC), which lay out the minimum requirements.

The classification and labelling of chemicals is changing! (read more here)
EU has decided to implement the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) through the CLP regulation. In GHS, the word 'material' is omitted and the documents are called safety data sheets. GHS also includes hazard and precautionary statements instead of risk and safety phrases. Do note that during a transitional period, both R/S-phrases and H/P-statements will be in use. The exact format and requirements are set out nationally, when these directives are implemented in the national legislation.

This means that even if you can find eg. the translations for standard MSDS or SDS headings by using the bilingual view in Eur-lex (http://eur-lex.europa.eu), the directive translations are only second in priority - the wordings used in national laws, regulations, official guidelines etc. supersede them. Instructions on how to search in Eur-lex can be found here: kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=74

Chemical TMs at STP

The TMs used at STP for MSDS and chemistry translations are in memoQ under these names:

  • 021_eng_dan_chemistry & chemical engineering
  • 021_eng_fin_chemistry & chemical engineering
  • 021_eng_nob_chemistry & chemical engineering
  • 021_eng_swe_chemistry & chemical engineering

Please note that all official documents referred to in these instructions supersede any TM content.

memoQ ECHA term base

For memoQ based projects, we have a term base containing a number of common phrases and terms used in MSDS texts. The term base comes from ECHA (European Chemical Hazards Agency) and can be considered official, if not necessarily up to date. The languages in the term base are English, French, German, Swedish, Finnish or Danish. The term base can be found on our memoQ server as DT_eng_dan_deu_fin_fra_swe_021_chemistry_ECHA.

MSDS headings

REACH-asetusta koskevat ohjeet (see document under Käyttöturvallisuustiedotteiden laatimista koskevat ohjeet)

Kemikalieinspektionen – Säkerhetsdatablad

Arbeidstilsynet - Sikkerhetsdatablader

Arbejdstilsynet - Sikkerhedsdatablad

R- and S-phrases (risk and safety phrases)

The lists of R and S phrases can be found in the Commission Directive 2001/59/EC relating to labelling of dangerous substances. For a more accessible monolingual Wiki article see List of S-phrases and List of R-phrases. Note that R- and S-phrases are used internationally not just in Europe and there is an on-going effort towards complete international harmonization.

R-lausekkeet: Vaaraa osoittavat standardilausekkeet
S-lausekkeet: Turvallisuustoimenpiteitä osoittavat standardilausekkeet

Risk- och skyddsfraser

R- og S-setninger

Danish: risiko- og sikkerhedssætninger
R- og S-sætninger

H- and P-statements (hazard and precautionary statements)

Here is a list of the H- and P-statements.

Links to different language versions of the new H- and P-statements will be added to this FAQ in due course.


H-lausekkeet eli vaaralausekkeet ja P-lausekkeet eli turvalausekkeet

Fare- og skkerhetssetninger

Faro- och skyddsangivelser (allmänt)

Other useful links

1_Unofficial website containing R- and S-phrases and H- and P-statements in different languages. Use with caution.

2_Unofficial website containing R- and S-phrases and H- and P-statements in different languages. Use with caution

Onnettomuuden vaaraa aiheuttavat aineet – käyttäjän opas
Esimerkki aineluettelosta

SDS at Räddningsverket
Kemikalieinspektionens ordlista

Direktiver og forordninger

Sikkerhedsdata og regler for kemikalier
Kemikalier og Sikkerhed
Biokemisk leksikon

Other guidelines

Please use ”impersonal imperative” ie. ”varastoitava viileässä”, ”huuhdeltava vedellä”, ”vietävä lääkäriin” not ”varastoi viileässä”, ”huuhtele vedellä”, ”vie lääkäriin” UNLESS you need to follow the style of any existing translation or reference material.

CAS numbers

CAS registry numbers are unique numerical identifiers for chemical elements, compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. American Chemical Society assigns these identifiers to every chemical that has been described in the literature.

CAS database at ChemIndustry.com


CAS-nummer indeks

Nomenklaturliste fra NKS

Kemikalieinspektionens ämnesregister