Safety information sheet* (SIS) for stainless steels

Issue of January 2020

1. Identification of substance and company

1.1. Product identifier

Product name: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel products in massive product forms, non-coated or coated. Hot and cold rolled steel products like plate, sheet, strip, bar, rod, tube, fittings, wire rod.

Stainless steel as defined in European Standards EN10088-1:2014 covering the composition of stainless steels, EN10095:1999 heat-resisting steels, and alloys and EN10302:2008 creep resisting steels and alloys.

1.2. Relevant identified uses of the mixture and uses advised against

The products are used extensively in the most varying applications, especially where carbon steels or other materials have insufficient corrosion resistance or in cases high-temperature resistance against corrosive gases is required. This means that these Sandvik products are used in many different industrial applications, such as in the automotive, chemical, pulp and paper, aviation, oil and gas, nuclear industries etc.

1.3. Details of the supplier of the safety information sheet

Manufacturer, supplier
AB Sandvik Materials Technology including any of its producing subsidiaries. Address main office:
AB Sandvik Materials Technology
Tel. No. +46 26 26 00 00

Department supplying information

Environment, Health and Safety Department,
AB Sandvik Materials Technology
Tel: +46-(0)26-26 00 00

1.4. Emergency information

In case of emergency, contact your local authority advisor.

2. Hazards identification

2.1. Classification of the mixture

Classification Hazard statement
Carc. 2
H351: Suspected of causing cancer
H372: Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
Skin Sens. 1
H317: May cause an allergic reaction
Resp. Sens. 1 H334: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled

Table 1 Classification according to EC 1272/2008 regulation.

2.2. Label elements

Since these products are massive alloys, labeling is not required

2.3. Other hazards

There are no hazards of concern for man or the environment from stainless steels in the forms supplied. However, if an individual is already sensitized to nickel, prolonged skin contact with a few types of stainless steel may result in an allergic dermatological reaction. No carcinogenic effects resulting from exposure to stainless steels have been reported, either in epidemiological studies or in tests with animals.

Dust and fume may be generated during processing e.g. in welding, cutting and grinding. If airborne concentrations of dust and fume are excessive, inhalation over long periods may affect workers' health, primarily of the lungs.

3. Composition/information on ingredients

Element CAS number EINECS
Concentration, wt-% Classification
Hazard statement
Carc2 H351: Suspected of causing cancer
Skin Sens.1 H317: May cause an allergic reaction
STOT RE 1 H372: Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
Cobalt 7440-48-4 231-158-0 <2 Skin Sens.1 H317: May cause an allergic reaction
Aquatic Chronic 4 H413: May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life
Resp. Sens 1
H334: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled

Table 2 Composition and classification according to EC 1272/2008 regulation.

4. First-aid measures

4.1. Description of first aid measures

There are no specific first aid measures developed for stainless steel. Medical attention should be sought in case of an excessive inhalation of dust, a physical injury to the skin or to the eyes. Note that austenitic stainless steel particles are non-magnetic or only slightly magnetic and may therefore not respond to a magnet placed over the eye.

4.2. Most important symptoms and effects both acute and delayed

No relevant information has been identified.

4.3. Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed

No relevant information has been identified.

5. Firefighting measures

5.1. Extinguishing media

Stainless steels in massive form are not combustible. However, care should be taken to avoid exposing fine process dust (e.g. from grinding and blasting operations) to high temperatures as it may present a potential fire hazard.

5.2. Special hazards arising from the mixture

None identified.

5.3. Advice for firefighters

None identified.

6. Accidental release measures

6.1. Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures

Not applicable.

6.2. Environmental precautions

Not applicable

6.3. Methods and material for containment and cleaning up

Not applicable

6.4 Reference to other sections


7. Handling and storage

7.1. Precautions for safe handling

There are no special technical measures involved for handling stainless steels. Normal precautions should be taken to avoid physical injury from coiled or bundled products, possibly with sharp edges.

Straps or bands, used to secure some products, should not be used for lifting. Coils and bundled products (e.g. sections, rods, bars etc.) may spring apart when the banding is removed and the banding itself could cause eye or other injury when tension is released.

Certain products may, as a result of processing, be brittle or have residual stress that might cause fracture or significant deformation.

All products are likely to have sharp edges that could cause lacerations and flying particles may be produced when shearing.

Suitable protective clothing and equipment, such as hand and eye protection, should be worn and systems of work adopted to take account of any hazards arising from the risk of fracturing or the release of tension when breaking open banding.

Suitable racks should be used to ensure stability when stocking narrow coils.

7.2. Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities

The product is stable in storage. However, it should be kept in mind that the products may display sharp edges and a sufficiently robust place capable of carrying the significant weight of the products should be used for storage.

7.3. Specific end uses

None identified.

8. Exposure controls/personal protection

8.1. Control parameters

Elements TD ID RD
Manganese and its inorganic compounds as Mn 0.2 0.05
Chromium and its compounds as Cr 0.5
Nickel as Ni 0.5
Cobalt and its inorganic compounds as Co 0.02
Molybdenum as Mo 10

Table 3 Occupational Exposure Limits, NGV, (mg/m3 ) in Sweden.
NGV = Nivågränsvärde (One working day exposure)
TD = Total Dust
ID = Inhalable Dust
RD = Respirable Dust

8.2. Exposure controls

8.2.1. Appropriate engineering controls

In the processing of all metallic materials, exposure to fume and dust must be kept below any legally imposed limits.

Dust and fume may be generated in use, e.g. by cutting, grinding and welding processes, which may contain materials subject to exposure limits. To ensure these limits are not exceeded, adequate general or local ventilation or fume extraction should be provided.

8.2.2. Individual protection measures, such as personal protective equipment

In accordance with European and national health and safety regulations, it is necessary to assess the need for personal protection equipment and appropriate approved respiratory protection should be provided for those workers at risk of inhalation. Suitable hand and eye protection should be worn where there is a risk of laceration, flying particles, welding heat radiation or contact with oils during processing.

The process of welding should only be performed by trained workers with the personal protective equipment in accordance with the laws of each member state relating to safety.

8.2.3. Environmental exposure controls

Emissions from ventilation or equipment in the workplace should be controlled in order to assure that environmental legislation is fulfilled.

9. Physical and chemical properties

9.1. Information on basic physical and chemical properties

Appearance: Solid; metallic grey, ranging from dull to bright polished. Occasionally supplied with oxidized, blue/black surfaces.
Odour: Odorless
Water solubility: Insoluble
Melting: 1370°C – 1520°C
Density: 7.7 – 8.1 g/cm3
Thermal expansion (mean value 20-100°C): 10 – 18 x 10 °C
Thermal conductivity (RT): 12 – 30 W/m °C
Magnetic: Austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic in most supply conditions, but may be para-magnetic in some supply conditions (Permeability 1.005 – 1.1).
Duplex, ferritic and martensitic stainless steels are ferromagnetic.

9.2. Other information

Thermal conductivity at 20°C, 8-30 W/(m K), depending on specific grade.
Not explosive.

10. Stability and reactivity

10.1. Reactivity

Stainless steels are stable and non-reactive under normal ambient atmospheric conditions.

10.2. Chemical stability

Stainless steels are stable and non-reactive under normal ambient atmospheric conditions.

10.3. Possibility of hazardous reactions

May react in contact with strong acids, releasing gaseous acid decomposition products, e.g. hydrogen, oxides of nitrogen.

10.4. Conditions to avoid

When heated to very high temperatures fumes may be produced (e.g. by cutting, welding or melting operations).

10.5. Incompatible materials

May react in contact with strong acids, releasing gaseous acid decomposition products, e.g. hydrogen, oxides of nitrogen.

10.6. Hazardous decomposition products

See section 10.3. and 10.5.

11. Toxicological information

11.1. Information on toxicological effects

Acute toxicity

Stainless steels are not acutely toxic.


The exposure route of concern is inhalation. These stainless steel products are in massive form, not capable of being inhaled.


Stainless steels are not corrosive to skin.


Nickel is classified as a skin sensitizer. It causes skin sensitization in susceptible individuals through prolonged intimate contact with the skin (e.g. wearing of jewelry).

Repeated dose toxicity

During mechanical working, flame cutting or welding, dust, or fumes containing complex or mixed oxides (spinels) of its constituents, may be formed. Over long periods, inhalation of excessive airborne levels may have long term health effects, primarily affecting the lungs.


Stainless steels may contain nickel, which has been classified, see section 2, Hazards identification. The exposure route of concern is inhalation. These stainless steel products are in massive form, not capable of being inhaled.


Stainless steels are not classified as mutagenic.

Toxicity for reproduction

Stainless steels are not toxic for reproduction.

12. Ecological information

12.1. Toxicity.

Not ecotoxic.

12.2. Persistence and degradability

Not relevant.

12.3. Bioaccumulative potential


12.4. Mobility in soil

Not soluble in water. Immobile.

12.5. Results of PBT and vPvB assessment

Not relevant.

12.6. Other adverse effects

No known harmful effects. No special precautions are required.

13. Disposal considerations

13.1 Waste treatment methods

Surplus and scrap (waste) stainless steel is a valuable commodity and in demand for the production of prime stainless steel.
Recycling routes are well-established, and recycling is, therefore, the preferred disposal route. Disposal to landfill is not harmful to the environment, but is a waste of resources and therefore less desirable than recycling.

14. Transport information

No special precautions required.
The product is not classified as hazardous for transport.

15. Regulatory information

15.1. Safety, health and environmental regulation/legislation specific for the mixture

Stainless steels containing 1% or more of nickel are classified in the same way as nickel, see section 2.

15.2. Chemical safety assessment

No chemical safety assessment has been published.

16. Other information

Food contact materials

The Council of Europe published “Metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles – A practical guide for manufacturers and regulators, 1st ed 2013” to ensure that metallic materials used in contact with food comply with the regulation EC 1935/2004. The document includes a section on stainless steels.

References to regulations

Nickel alloy products are considered as articles under regulation EC 1907/2006, concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals (REACH). In accordance with REACH and regulation EC 1272/2008 on classification, labeling, and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) only substances and preparations require a safety data sheet (SDS). While articles under REACH do not require a classic SDS but articles shall be accompanied by sufficient information to permit safe use and disposal. In order to comply with this requirement, a safety information sheet (SIS) has been developed.


AFS 2018:1 Hygieniska gränsvärden (Hygienic limit values)


Health & Safety Executive Guidance Notes
EH26: Occupational Skin Diseases Health and Safety Precautions
EH40: Occupational Exposure Limits 2002
EH42: Monitoring Strategies for Toxic Substances
EH44: Dust in the Workplace: General Principles of Protection 1990
EH54: Assessment of Exposure to Fume from Welding and Allied Processes
EH55: The Control of Exposure to Fume from Welding, Brazing and Similar Processes.


HTP Haitallisiki tunnetut pitoisuudet 2000 (


The nickel alloy products according to section 1 in this SIS, conform to requirements, regulations or guidance given in:

H J Cross, J Beach, L S Levy, S Sadhra, T Sorahan, C McRoy:
Manufacture, processing and use of stainless steel: A Review of the Health Effects.
Prepared for Eurofer by the Institute of Occupational Health, University of Birmingham, 1999.

EU Directive 2011/65/EU of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

EN 1811: Reference test method for release of nickel from products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with skin.


Table 1, according to CLP, stainless steels containing more than 1% nickel must be classified in the same way as nickel itself, by default.

There is no direct evidence of carcinogenic effects of nickel alloys in man, nor indirect evidence from animals tested by relevant routes, i.e. inhalation or ingestion. In other studies, using non-relevant routes in animals, alloys with up to 40 % nickel caused no significant increase in cancer. Studies of workers exposed to nickel powder and dust and fumes generated in the production of nickel alloys and stainless steels have not indicated a respiratory cancer hazard.

Numerous patch tests have established that most stainless steels do not cause sensitization. However, studies have shown that in some individuals already sensitized to nickel, close and prolonged skin contact with the re-sulphurised free-machining types of stainless steel with 0,15 – 0,35 % S (EN 1.4105, 1.4523, 1.4305, 1.4570) may cause an allergic reaction. The uses of products that contain Ni and which come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin are limited by 2004/96/EC. Posts inserted into pierced ears and other parts of the body during epithelization of the wound must not contain more than 0,050 % Ni. Other Ni-containing products in direct and prolonged contact with the skin must release no more than 0,5 mg/cm2/week of Ni as defined in EN 1811.

Welding and flame cutting fumes may contain hexavalent chromium compounds. Studies have shown that some hexavalent chromium compounds can cause cancer. However, epidemiological studies amongst welders indicate no extra increased risk of cancer when welding stainless steels, compared with the slightly increased risk when welding steels that do not contain chromium. The UK Health & Safety Executive´s publication "Control of fume arising from electric arc welding of stainless steel" indicates that there is some risk of developing asthma from compounds of chromium VI and nickel in the fume from stainless steel welding. However, stainless steel welding fume did not meet the European Union classification criteria required for a substance capable of causing asthma.


N Becker:
Cancer mortality among arc welders exposed to fumes containing chromium and nickel.
Results of a third follow-up: 1989–1995.

Report of the International Committee on Nickel Carcinogenesis in Man: Scand J, Work Environ
Health 1990, 16; 1–82

International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Chromium, nickel and welding. 'IARC Monograph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans'. Lyon: IARC 1990.

Santonen, Stockman -Juvala, Zitting:
Review on toxicity of stainless steel, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, ISBN 978-952-261-039-3, 2010-11-17

Regulation EC 1907/2006, concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals (REACH).

AB Sandvik Materials Technology is third-party certified according to the Environmental Management System, ISO 14 001:2015. This certification requires full compliance with national and EU legislation within our area of business.


The information given in this safety information sheet is based on the present level of our knowledge and experience. The data sheet describes the products with respect to safety requirements. The data given is not intended as a confirmation of product properties and does not constitute a legal contractual relationship, nor should it be used as the basis for ordering these products.

*Previous designation: Material Safety Datasheet (MSD)