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December 27, 2010

Switzerland Posts Guidelines for Preparing SDSs for Synthetic Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

The Switzerland State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has posted a December 21, 2010, guidance document for preparing safety data sheets (SDS) for synthetic nanomaterials. Safety Data Sheet (SDS): Guidelines for Synthetic Nanomaterials is intended to demonstrate the information necessary to ensure the safe handling of nano-objects and products that contain nano-objects; offer assistance on how the relevant information can be identified and in which form and which place they are to be listed in the SDSs; and contribute to making employees of companies that produce or process synthetic nano-objects aware of the particular properties of these materials. The Guidelines, which are limited to “specifically manufactured (i.e. synthetic) nano-objects which are nano-sized in two or three dimensions (i.e. nano-fibres or nano-particles),” include two fictitious examples of SDSs for synthetic nanomaterials. The Guidelines supplement the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) document entitled The Safety Data Sheet in Switzerland.

The Guidelines recommend that:

  • Existing SDSs should be supplemented by nano-specific data as set out in the information in the present document or a separate SDS be drawn up for the nano-objects in question; and
  • An SDS based on the recommendations in the present documents also be drawn up for nano-objects for which no there is no requirement as set out in the Swiss Chemicals Ordinance (ChemV, SR 813.11 Section 52).