Pesticide Registration Toolkit

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)


The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) should provide comprehensive information about a substance or mixture (i.e. pesticide active ingredient or formulation) for use in the workplace. Both employers and workers use it as a source of information about hazards, including environmental hazards, and to obtain advice on safety precautions. The information acts as a reference source for the management of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

The SDS for pesticide products can be used by registration authorities to verify whether any components of the formulation (e.g. safeners, synergists and co-formulants) are classified as hazardous, even if that information is lacking or incomplete in the registration dossier.

An SDS contains information on the potential health effects of exposure and how to work safely with the substance or mixture. It also contains hazard information derived from physicochemical properties or environmental effects, on the use, storage, handling, and emergency response measures related to that substance or mixture.

All or part of the SDS can be used to inform workers, employers, health and safety professionals, emergency personnel, relevant government agencies, as well as members of the community.

The SDS is product related and, usually, is not able to provide specific information that is relevant for any given workplace where the product may finally be used, although where products have specialized end uses the SDS information may be more workplace-specific. The information therefore enables the employer to:

  1. implement worker protection measures (such as use of Personal Protection Equipment), including training, which is specific to the individual workplace; and
  2. consider any measures which may be necessary to protect the environment.

According to the GHS, an SDS should be produced for all substances and mixtures which meet the harmonized criteria for physical, health or environmental hazards under the GHS. Furthermore, an SDS needs to be prepared for all mixtures which contain ingredients that meet the criteria for carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction or specific target organ toxicity in concentrations exceeding the cut-off limits for SDS specified by the criteria for mixtures. The registration authority may also require SDS’s for mixtures not meeting the criteria for classification as hazardous, but which contain hazardous ingredients in certain concentrations (see in the GHS document).

For pesticide products, this means that an SDS should be elaborated for:

  1. All pesticide active ingredients and pesticide formulations which trigger any hazard classification under the GHS (either physical, health or environmental) 


  1. All pesticide formulations which contain an active ingredient that triggers a hazard classification for carcinogenicity, toxicity to reproduction or specific target organ toxicity (STOT), and is present in the formulation at a concentration exceeding the cutoff limits listed in Table 1.5.1. of the GHS. This also applies if the pesticide formulation itself is not classified as hazardous.


  1. If the regulatory authority requires so, for any pesticide formulation containing active ingredients that trigger a hazard classification according to the GHS, and exceed the cutoff limits listed in Table 1.5.1. of the GHS.

The SDS should provide a clear description of the data used to identify the hazards. The minimum information in Table 1.5.2 of the GHS document (minimum information for an SDS) should be included in the SDS under the relevant headings. If specific information is not applicable or not available under a particular subheading, the SDS should clearly state this. Additional information may be required by competent authorities.

An SDS should include information according to the following mandatory 16 headings:

  1. Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking
  2. Hazard identification 
  3. Composition/information of ingredients
  4. First aid measures
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and storage
  8. Exposure controls / personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information 
  15. Regulatory information
  16. Other information


Procedure for review of the SDS for pesticide products

Step 1

Check that SDS are available for all substances in the product that require an SDS to be prepared. An SDS should also be made available for the product (mixture).

Step 2

The information in the SDS should be presented according to the 16 headings above.

Check if  all hazardous ingredients in a mixture, which are hazardous to health or the environment within the meaning of the GHS and are present above their cut-off levels, are included in section 3 of the SDS. For these substances, check that the chemical identity,  the identification number and concentration or concentration ranges are given. If the SDS is for only one substance, check if the chemical identity and identification number is given.

Check that the data (physical and chemical properties, health and environment) derived from the pesticide registration dossier and /or other data sources, are in line with the data in SDS.

Step 3

Check whether the classification(s) in the SDS of the product is identical to the classification obtained.

Step 4

Additional/final check of information in SDS and label.

Compare the label information in section 2 of the SDS and on the label.

  • Is the information consistent?
  • Is the information in the SDS easy to read and understand? Is it relevant and reliable?
  • Is the risk information on the label submitted by the company correct according to your findings and GHS?