There is good reason why these very so widely.
Health rating: What is the likelihood of it being ingested? If I think the product could be ingested or inhaled (fine powder) and am writing the MSDS I would give it a higher Health number. If it was something larger or even a rod/sheet then I would give it a low health number.
Fire rating: Again fire rating will vary as to how easily the material will ignite. A powder may need to be classified as a flammable solid 4.1 while larger size pieces would not be considered flammable at all.
Reactivity rating: Again the powder form would generate a higher number. Aluminum powder is classed by DOT as a 4.1 or 4.3 depending on whether it is coated or uncoated. (50% of the mixture) It also can be water reactive.
Some people who write MSDS’s are more conservative than others. You will always have to default to the manufactures MSDS but there is nothing that keeps you from going above and beyond what the manufacturer recommends. We experience the same problems with gloves. When we get conflicting information we will investigate and side on the side of safety.
If it was me I would store the material in the flammable cabinet, no matter what the MSDS reads, just as a precautionary measure. I would have it in a secondary container as well so if it does spill it would be easier to clean up. I would not want someone to think it was safe to have this product around an open flame, water or acids or have the ability to spill the product and create an airborne dust. We find that by storing material in a hazard cabinet adds to the person awareness when it comes to handling the chemical. People use a little extra care when hazards are reinforced by a large yellow cabinet.
Just my opinion,
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU]
On Behalf Of Emily Coombs
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 1:03 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Devarda's Alloy
We recently acquired some Dacarda's Alloy and are being faced with whether or not it needs to be stored in a flammables cabinet. We have not yet received an MSDS from the Manufacturer, and even just the NFPA ratings seem to vary incredibly. (Yes we are absolutely looking at the rest of the MSDS, but this provides a quick overview of how differently it is being presented in the different sources.)
From Sigma Aldrich (available from their site, but I am unable to attach here):
Health hazard: 0
Reactivity Hazard: 3
From ScienceLab MSDS
From SIRI (not a source I would normally use, but is specifically listing the brand we have)
Health Rating: 0 - None
Flammability Rating: 1 - Slight
Reactivity Rating: 1 - Slight
Contact Rating: 0 - None
Can anyone shed any light on this particular materials' storage? It has caused some controversy here, and we would appreciate another perspective.. Thank you!
Chemical Laboratory Manager
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