Ask the Expert, Chemicals, Q&A

SDS Requirements

Q. Can you provide some guidance on how to satisfy the requirements of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information without revealing the names or Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) numbers of the chemicals we use in our mixtures?

A. You are able to withhold the name of a specific chemical when submitting SDSs or the list of hazardous chemicals under EPCRA 311–SDS Reporting if that chemical name is claimed as a trade secret.

In general, if you are withholding the name of a specific chemical as a trade secret in accordance with the applicable trade secrecy requirements, you must:

  • Report the generic class or category that is structurally descriptive of the chemical, along with all other required information and a sanitized trade secret substantiation form, to the appropriate emergency planning entities (SERC, LEPC, local fire department); and
  • Submit the withheld information to EPA and adequately substantiate your claim using the agency’s trade secret substantiation form.

The details of making a trade secret claim can be found under 40 CFR 350. Specifically:

  • 40 CFR 350.5(c) and (f)-(h): Assertion of claims of trade secrecy
  • 40 CFR 350.7: Substantiation requirements
  • 40 CFR 350.13: The criteria for valid substantiation requests