Many people have contacted me about getting the msds sheets for floral foam products, and I have acquired a recent copy of the Smither’s Oasis Floral Foam MSDS sheet so I will repost it here for you to view. Some of it I had to reformat because it is copied from a pdf, so it may look slightly different in print. I have not changed any information other than formatting.
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SMITHERS-OASIS NORTH AMERICA
919 MARVIN STREET • P.O. BOX NUMBER 790 • KENT, OHIO 44240
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
Oasis® Floral Foam
SECTION 1 – CHEMICAL PRODUCT AND COMPANY IDENTIFICATION
OASIS® Floral Foam DATE PREPARED
SYNONYMS, CHEMICAL NAMES, COMMON NAMES
OASIS® Floral Foam USE:
Arrangement of cut flowers
Smithers-Oasis TELEPHONE NUMBER – INFORMATION
919 Marvin Street
P.O. Box 790
Kent, OH 44240 USA
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER
Transportation emergency: CHEMTREC: 800 424-9300
International Transportation: CHEMTREC: 703-527-3887
Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center: 303- 623-5716
SECTION – 2 – HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION
Green fine-celled thermoset phenolic plastic foam.
May be irritating to eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.
May contain formaldehyde and/or carbon black. Prolonged exposure may cause cancer.
PRIMARY ROUTE(s) OF EXPOSURE:
Contact and Inhalation of dust.
May cause irritation to skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
ACUTE: Dust or fumes may cause irritation to the nasal passages, lacrimation, olfactory changes, and pulmonary changes.
Inhalation of heptane fumes may irritate the respiratory tract producing light headedness, dizziness, muscle incoordination, CNS depression and narcosis.
CHRONIC: Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde and/or carbon black may cause cancer.
ACUTE: May cause irritation.
CHRONIC: May cause dermatitis. Frequent or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause hypersensitivity leading to contact dermatitis.
ACUTE: Contact may be irritating.
CHRONIC: May cause conjunctivitis.
ACUTE: May cause mouth irritation due to local pH effect. Swallowing formaldehyde may cause violent vomiting and diarrhea.
Aspiration of heptane into lungs can produce severe lung damage.
CHRONIC: Prolonged exposure may cause symptoms similar to acute effects.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS GENERALLY AGGRAVATED BY EXPOSURE
SECTION 3 – COMPOSITION, INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS
HAZARDOUS COMPONENTS CAS# %
Acid catalysts Proprietary 8-12 %
Barium sulfate 7727-43-7 2-3 %
Heptane 142-82-5 < 1.5 %
Formaldehyde 50-00-0 < 0.15 %
Other components, if any, are not hazardous or hazardous components are present at less than 1% (0.1% for carcinogens).
SECTION 4 – EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
INHALATION: Remove from exposure to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration. Oxygen may be given if breathing is difficult. Get medical attention.
SKIN CONTACT: Wash affected area with soap and water until no evidence of the material remains. Get medical attention if irritation develops.
EYE CONTACT: Flush thoroughly with water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper and lower lids, until no evidence of the material remains. Get medical attention if irritation develops. If wearing contact lens, remove immediately and flush eyes as above.
INGESTION: Do not induce vomiting. Treat symptomatically and supportively. If a large quantity is ingested, get medical attention since there could be a problem with physical blockage.
SECTION 5 – FIRE FIGHTING MEASURES
Flash Point: Not applicable.
Flammable Limits UEL: Not applicable.
Flammable Limits LEL: Not applicable.
Autoignition Temperature: ~600°F.
Extinguishing Media: Water spray, foam, carbon dioxide, or dry chemical.
Special Fire Fighting Procedures: Avoid breathing smoke. Firefighters should wear full protective NIOSH approved self- contained breathing apparatus.
Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazards: Finished foam will support combustion if it is ignited by direct contact with an open flame or exposed to temperatures in the range of 600°F. If foam is placed in a microwave for an extended period, it will begin to burn. Combustion occurs at the center of the brick and due to the insulating effect of the foam, can proceed unnoticed until an appreciable heat buildup occurs.
SECTION 6 – ACCIDENTAL RELEASE MEASURES
Wear suitable protective equipment. Reclaim or place in suitable container for disposal.
SECTION 7 – HANDLING AND STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry well ventilated area, out of direct sunlight. Foam stored in stagnant or hot enclosures may result in off gassing of residual formaldehyde gas.
Wash thoroughly after handling. Observe good personal and industrial hygiene procedures. When foam is soaked or used in water, some low levels of residual formaldehyde may accumulate in tub water. Repeated skin immersion in water containing formaldehyde has caused skin rashes, particularly in sensitive persons. It is recommended that impervious latex or chemical resistant gloves be worn and water tubs be emptied regularly.
SECTION 8 – EXPOSURE CONTROLS, PERSONAL PROTECTION
A dust mask is recommended if dust is excessive. Where airborne concentrations may exceed guidelines for permissible air concentrations, choose a respirator in accordance with OSHA Respirator Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.
Use general dilution ventilation to maintain exposure below the exposure limits.
Use barrier cream or choose appropriate gloves in accordance with OSHA Subpart I Personal Protective Equipment Hand Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.138.
Safety glasses are recommended or choose in accordance with OSHA Eye and Face Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.133.
OTHER PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OR EQUIPMENT
Not normally required.
RECOMMENDED EXPOSURE LIMITS
OSHA and ACGIH have not set exposure limits for this material. .
COMPONENTS—————— OSHA PEL ——————–ACGIH TLV
Formaldehyde 0.75 ppm TWA 0.3 ppm CEILING
CAS# 50-00-0 2 ppm STEL
Acid catalysts: inorganic acid 1 mg/m 3 TWA 1 mg/m3 TWA
CAS # Propriatary 3 mg/m3 STEL
Barium sulfate 15 mg/m 3 TWA as Ba (Total dust) 10 mg/m3 TWA
CAS# 7727-43-7 5 mg/m3 TWA as Ba (Respirable fraction)
Heptane 500 ppm TWA 400 ppm TWA
500 ppm STEL
SECTION 9 – PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
Appearance: Green, fine-celled thermoset phenolic plastic foam
Odor Threshold: Not applicable.
Physical State: Solid
pH: 3.0 in 5% slurry
Melting/Freezing Point:: Not available
Boiling Point:: Not applicable
Flash Point: Not applicable.
Evaporation Rate: Not applicable
Flammability: Will burn.
Upper Explosive Limits: Not applicable.
Lower Explosive Limits: Not applicable.
Vapor Pressure: Not applicable
Vapor Density: Not applicable
Specific Gravity or Relative Density: Not available
Solubility: Not soluble
Oil/Water Coefficient: Not applicable
Autoignition Temperature: Not kn9own.
Decomposition Temperature: Not known.
SECTION 10 - STABILITY AND REACTIVITY
CHEMICAL STABILITY: Stable.
CONDITIONS TO AVOID: Stable at normal room temperature.
INCOMPATIBLE MATERIALS: Normally unreactive.
HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS: Smoke, oxides of carbon, and possible trace amounts of formaldehyde, phenol, cresols, xylenols, and sulfur dioxide.
POSSIBILITY OF HAZARDOUS REACTIONS: Will not occur.
SECTION 11 – TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Toxicity studies on a similar compound indicate that the Oral LD50 (rat): >5000 mg/kg
Primary Dermal Irritation Study in Albino Rabbits on a similar compound: Non irritant
Inhalation LC50 (rat): 103 gm/m3/4H Heptane
TDLo (rat): 60 gm/kg/3W Heptane: Changes in liver weight
TDLo (rat): 260 gm/kg/13W: Heptane: Changes in bladder weight; Changes in brain and coverings.
Carcinogenicity: Formaldehyde has been classified as a Group 2A carcinogen by IARC, is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by NTP, and is a suspected human carcinogen by ACGIH. Carbon black has been classified as an IARC2B carcinogen.
Tumorigenic data (RTECS) Formaldehyde; barium sulfate; carbon black
Reproductive data (RTECS): Formaldehyde
Mutagenic data (RTECS): Formaldehyde; barium sulfate; green dye
Teratology data (RTECS): Formaldehyde
SECTION 12 – ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION
This formulation has not been tested for environmental effects. It is a thermoset plastic and is not biodegradable.
SECTION 13 – DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS
Dispose in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental regulations.
Recycling is recommended. It can be cut up and used as a soil conditioner. Since it dries faster than regular soils, it can be used to aerate tightly packed clay type soils.
If discarded in its original form, material is not regulated by Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as a hazardous waste.
Passes TCLP test requirements.
SECTION 14 – TRANSPORT INFORMATION
Material is not regulated as a DOT Marine Pollutant
Proper Shipping Name: Not regulated.
Hazard Class: Not applicable.
ID Number: Not applicable.
Packing Group: Not applicable.
Marine Pollutant: Not regulated by 49 CFR 172.101.
SECTION 15 – REGULATORY INFORMATION
OSHA: This material may be classified as hazardous under OSHA regulations.
TSCA: All components are listed or exempt from listing on the TSCA 8(b) inventory.
DSL: All components are listed or exempt from listing.
EINECS: All components are listed or exempt from listing.
SARA Title III – Toxic chemicals list 40 CFR 372.65
Formaldehyde CAS# 50-00-0 <0.2 %
Barium sulfate is exempt from reporting under the category “Barium compounds” (59FR33208).
SARA Hazard Categories:
Acute Health Hazard : Yes
Chronic Health Hazard: Yes
Fire Hazard: No
Reactive Hazard: No
Sudden Release of Pressure: No
CERCLA Toxic Chemicals List 40 CFR 302:
Formaldehyde RQ: 100#
A spill in excess of 66,000 pounds would require reporting to the National Response Center based on the maximum residual content of formaldehyde in the foam.
CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65: The following statement is made in order to comply with the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or other reproductive harm.
SECTION 16 – OTHER INFORMATION
where 0=minimal, 1=slight, 2=moderate, 3=serious, 4=severe
European Risk Phrases: R: 20, 45
ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
ACGIH TLV: ACGIH Threshold Limit Values
CAS: Chemical Abstract Service
CERCLA: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
CFR: Code of Federal Regulations
CNS: Central Nervous System
CPR: Controlled Product Regulations
DSL: Domestic Substances List
EINECS: European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances
IARC: International Agency for Research on Cancer
IDL: Ingredient Disclosure List
NIOSH: National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA PEL: OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits
RCRA:: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RTECS: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
SARA: Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act
TSCA: Toxic Substances Control Act
TWA: Time Weighted Average
WHMIS: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
The information and recommendations set forth herein are made in good faith and are believed to be accurate as of the date of
preparation. Smithers-Oasis makes no warranty, either expressed or implied, with respect to this information and disclaims all liability from reliance on it.
Since people are having a hard time getting the msds sheets, I am copying and posting the msds sheet for smither’s oasis foam and linking it here.
You can also contact the makers of the floral foam (like Smithers-Oasis) yourself and have them send you a copy of the MSDS sheets for their products, as many floral foods, dips, leaf shines and adhesives contain hazardous chemicals either for you or for the environment. I found a few msds sheets here: but not all were thorough or up to date. I did learn however, that some floral foods and cleaners are highly toxic to fish and sea and should not be disposed of in drains or sewers or anywhere where it can get into the water supply.
Whatever you do, get the information you need and make healthy decisions for yourself, your family, co-workers and the environment!
Have you ever seen that green foam that shows up at the bottom of flower arrangements? You know, the green foam brick florists soak in water and use to model and water flowers?
Have you ever wondered what it’s made of?
Well let’s talk about it.
I searched on google and found someone who had asked the same thing on blurtit.com. Unfortunately the answer they were given left a lot to be desired. In fact, someone left a comment basically saying-just tell us what it’s made of already!?!- I’ve long wondered the same thing; but at florist supply stores, I can never seem to find the ingredients. Why would we not want to be upfront about what’s in this stuff called floral foam, what florists openly refer to as Oasis (the name for the most common version of this foam which is a registered trademark of Smithers-Oasis North America). Maybe they don’t really know, maybe it doesn’t come with an ingredients label, or maybe it’s because it’s not made of good stuff.
The basic element of floral foam is plastic. It’s not biodegradable and has chemicals that I would consider toxic. But what’s more, through the openness of information (sometimes via laws that are created through our government) this information is made available on the public skyway called the world wide web, so we can actually find out more for ourselves. Go ahead and take a look: www.fdionline.net/Files/MSDS/SO-OasisFloralFoam6-05-06.pdf
For those of you who just want it given to you straight, I’ll abide. Basically it says that Oasis Floral Foam made by Smithers-Oasis of North America, is made of plastic that’s not biodegradable and it has some hazardous components, namely: Formaldehyde, Carbon black, Proprietarty Acid Catalysts, Proprietarty Sulfactant and Barium Sulfate. The first two being known as carcinogenic. The document also suggests that this foam may be irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. It also says that prolonged exposure to Formaldehyde and Carbon black may cause cancer. There are a few pages of information about the hazards and possible symptoms both short term and long term. Overall, it’s a wealth of knowledge.
It carries risks if dust from the foam is inhaled. Formaldehyde leaches into the water that the foam is soaked in and if it’s kept in hot or stagnant enclosures this may cause the formaldehyde to off-gas. Some people get irritated by touching it. Hmm.
What does this mean to the floral consumer? Well, you might want to ask your florist not to use it. If it is used, dispose of it properly and don’t burn it.
What does this mean to the floral designer and florist? I might suggest that if you are concerned about your own health, you would avoid using floral foam. If you are concerned about the health of your customers,or the health of the environment and our communities, and want to prevent the build up of our massive landfills and the leaching of toxins into our water and land, then you might consider avoiding this stuff.
One green step I’ve taken in my floral business is to avoid plastic whenever possible, so floral foam is out of the question anyway. But, it does give me relief knowing I’m not putting my own health at risk or that of my community/planet around me by using floral foam.
This is no easy task however, as floral foam makes it so much easier to make exciting and modeled arrangements. But there are methods that we can start practicing instead until someone out there starts selling the biodegradable and non toxic version. (which someone has probably already created and just needs to mass market) Curled up branches or balls of wire can be helpful in securing an arrangement. And I’m sure if you really put your mind to it, you can find other ways to display beauty without the foam.
In Green and Health,