MSDS Guidelines

Product Identifier: Portland Cement
Other means of identification: CEM II / B-L 32.5 N
CEM II / A-S 42.5 R
CEM II / B-M (S-L) 32.5 R
CEM I 52.5 N
CEM II / A-L 42.5 N
CEM III / A 32.5N
Chemical name: Calcium compounds. Calcium silicate compounds together with other calcium compounds containing iron and aluminium make up the majority of this compound.
Relevant uses: Building materials. Basic ingredient in concrete, mortar and plaster.
Manufacturers name: Cemza
Address: Thornhill office park building 5, 94 Bekker Road, Midrand 1686
Emergency telephone number: T +27 (0) 10 446 8451 F +27 (0) 86 476 6158
Identification: No GHS (Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of Chemical) identity. Classification and label as per SANS 10234.
Overview: Cement dust acts as a skin and respiratory irritant. Dust and wet cement act as a serious eye irritant. Long term exposure may lead to contact dermatitis.
Personal protective equipment: Wear gloves and long sleeves clothes
Portland Cement Clinker 80 – 94 % by weight 5 mg respirable dust/m3 15 mg total dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3 5 mg respirable dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3
Calcium sulfate (Gypsum) 4 – 6% by weight 5 mg respirable dust/m3 15 mg total dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3 5 mg respirable dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3
Iron oxide 0 – 5% by weight 10 mg/m3 5 mg/m3 5 mg/m3
Calcium carbonate 6 – 20% by weight 5 mg respirable dust/m3 15 mg total dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3 5 mg respirable dust/m3 10 mg total dust/m3
Calcium oxide 0– 68% by weight 5 mg/m3 2 mg/m3 2 mg/m3
Crystalline silica 0 – 0.1% by weight 5 mg respirable dust/m3 (%SiO2 + 2) 30 mg respirable dust/m3 (%SiO2 + 2) 0.05 mg respirable quartz/m3 0.05 mg respirable quartz/m
Trace Ingredients: Due to the use of substances mined from the earth’s crust, trace amounts of naturally occurring, potentially harmful constituents may be detected during chemical analysis. Portland cement may contain up to 0.75% insoluble residue. A small amount of this residue includes free crystalline silica. Portland cement also may contain trace (<0.05%) amounts of chromium salts or compounds (including hexavalent chromium) or other metals (including nickel compounds) found to be hazardous or toxic in some chemical forms. These metals are present mostly as trace substitutions within the principal minerals. Other trace constituents may include potassium and sodium sulfate compounds.
Component Name % CAS No.
Tri-Calcium Silicate < 70 12168-85-3
Di-Calcium Silicate <40 10034-77-2
Tetra-Calcium-Alumino-Ferrite <18 12068-35-8
Tri-Calcium Aluminate <15 12042-78-3
Calcium Sulphate <10 Various
Magnesium Oxide <10 1309-48-4
Calcium Oxide <0.5 1305-78-8
Crystalline Silica <0.2 14808-60-7
Chromates <0.005 Various
Note: CAS = Chemical Abstract Services
EYES: Immediately flush eye thoroughly with water. Continue flushing eye for at least 15 minutes, including under lids, to remove all particles. Call physician immediately.
SKIN: Wash skin with cool water and pH-neutral soap or mild detergent and apply skin cream to help in replacing lost moisture. Seek medical treatment if irritation or inflammation develops or persists. Seek immediate medical treatment in the event of burns.
INHALATION: Remove person to fresh air. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. Seek medical help if coughing and other symptoms do not subside. Inhalation of large amounts of Portland limestone Cement requires immediate medical attention.
INGESTION: Do not induce vomiting. If conscious, have the victim drink plenty of water and seek medical attention immediately.
FLAMMABLE LIMITS: Not applicable

Portland Cement is a light gray powder. When in contact with moisture in eyes or on skin, or when mixed with water, Portland cement becomes highly caustic (pH>12) and will damage or burn (as severely as third degree) the eyes or skin. Inhalation may cause irritation to the moist mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory system or may cause, or may aggravate, certain lung diseases or conditions. Use exposure controls or personal protection methods described in Section 8.

For non-emergency personnel: Evacuate area, if necessary. Contact emergency personnel, if needed. Do not breathe dust. Stay upwind.
For emergency responders: Evacuate surrounding areas if necessary. Keep unnecessary and unprotected personnel from entering. Do not breathe dust. Provide adequate ventilation.
Environmental precautions: Avoid release to the environment. Contain the spill to avoid the discharge of spilled material into drains, surface waters and/or groundwater. If the spilled material enters any drainage systems, surface waters and/or ground water, follow all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations for additional clean-up and/or reporting requirements.
Methods and materials for containment and cleaning up Small and large spills: Wear appropriate personal protective equipment as described in Section 8 for cleaning, containing and removing the spill. Minimize generation of dust. For small spills, clean with a vacuum with a filtration system sufficient to remove and prevent recirculation of cement dust (a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is recommended). For large spills, use control dust measures and carefully scoop or shovel into clean dry container for later reuse or disposal. DO NOT USE COMPRESSED AIR TO CLEAN SPILLS. Note: see Section 1 for emergency contact information and Section 13 for waste disposal.
HANDLING AND STORAGE: Keep dry until used. Handle and store in a manner so that airborne dust does not exceed applicable exposure limits. Use adequate ventilation and dust collection. Use exposure control and personal protection methods as described in Section 8.
SPILL: Use dry clean-up methods that do not disperse dust into the air or entry into surface water. Material can be used if not contaminated. Place in an appropriate container for disposal or use. Avoid inhalation of dust and contact with skin and eyes. Use exposure control and personal protection methods as described in Section 8.
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION: Use local exhaust or general dilution ventilation to control dust levels below applicable exposure limits. Minimize dispersal of dust into the air. If local or general ventilation is not adequate to control dust levels below applicable exposure limits or when dust causes irritation or discomfort, use NIOSH approved respirators.
EYE PROTECTION: Wear safety glasses with side shields or goggles to avoid contact with the eyes. In extremely dusty environments and unpredictable environments, wear tight-fitting unvented or indirectly vented goggles to avoid eye irritation or injury. Contact lenses should not be worn when handling cement or cement-containing products.
SKIN PROTECTION: Wear impervious abrasion-and alkali-resistant gloves, boots, long-sleeved shirt, long pants or other protective clothing to prevent skin contact. Promptly remove clothing dusty with dry Portland cement or clothing dampened with moisture mixed with Portland cement.
APPEARANCE/ODOR: Grey or light grey powder, odorless
PHYSICAL STATE: Solid (Powder)
MELTING POINT: Not applicable
VAPOR PRESSURE: Not applicable
VAPOR DENSITY: Not applicable
pH (IN WATER): 12 to 13
SOLUBILITY IN WATER (ASTM D 1293-95): Slightly soluble (0.1% to 1.0%)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY (H2O = 1.0): 3.15
EVAPORATION RATE: Not applicable
STABILITY: Product is stable. Keep dry until used.
CONDITIONS TO AVOID: Unintentional contact with water. Contact with water will result in hydration and produces (caustic) calcium hydroxide.
INCOMPATIBILITY: Wet Portland cement is alkaline. As such, it is incompatible with acids, ammonium salts and aluminum metal.
EYE CONTACT: (Acute/Chronic) Exposure to airborne dust may cause immediate or delayed irritation or inflammation of the cornea. Eye contact by larger amounts of dry powder or splashes of wet Portland cement may cause effects ranging from moderate eye irritation to chemical burns and blindness.
SKIN CONTACT: (Acute) Exposure to dry Portland cement may cause drying of the skin with consequent mild irritation or more significant effects attributable to aggravation of other conditions. Discomfort or pain cannot be relied upon to alert a person to a hazardous skin exposure.
(Chronic) Dry portland cement coming in contact with wet skin, or exposure to wet portland cement may cause more severe skin effects, including thickening, cracking or fissuring of the skin. Prolonged exposure can cause severe skin damage in the form of chemical (caustic) burns.
(Acute/Chronic) Some individuals may exhibit an allergic response upon exposure to Portland cement. The response may appear in a variety of forms ranging from a mild rash to severe skin ulcers.
INHALATION: (Acute) Exposure to Portland cement may cause irritation to the moist mucous membranes of the nose, throat and upper respiratory system. Pre-existing upper respiratory and lung diseases may be aggravated by inhalation of Portland cement.
(Chronic) Inhalation exposure to free crystalline silica may cause delayed lung injury including silicosis, a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease, and/or cause or aggravate other lung diseases or conditions.
INGESTION: (Acute/Chronic) Internal discomfort or ill effects are possible if large quantities are swallowed.
CARCINOGENIC POTENTIAL: Portland cement is not recognized as a carcinogen by NTP, OSHA, or IARC. However, it may contain trace amounts of heavy metals recognized as carcinogens by these organizations. In addition, IARC classifies crystalline silica, a trace constituent, as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group I). NTP has characterized respirable silica as "known to be a human carcinogen." (See also Section 16.)
Eco-toxicity: No recognized unusual toxicity to plants or animals.
Aquatic toxicity (Fish, Daphnia and Algae): Non-toxic in small quantities. Large quantities especially in static water will result in an increase in pH up to pH 12 or more. pH changes may result in death of aquatic life.
Salvage spilled cement material where possible. Uncontaminated cement material may be reused. Comply with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations for disposal of unusable or contaminated materials. Dispose of packaging/containers according to local and state regulations.
In terms of the National Road Traffic Act, act 93 of 1996 regulations and SANS 10228 (The identification and classification of dangerous goods for transport by road and rail modes), Portland cement and cement blends are not hazardous.
In terms of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, Portland cement and cement blends are not hazardous and as such do not have a U.N. number. Portland cement is listed as an Appendix C cargo in terms of the BC code.
Status under CERCLA/Superfund, 40 CFR 117 and 302: Not listed.
This MSDS provides information on various types of Portland cement products. A particular product’s composition may vary from sample to sample.
The information provided herein is believed by Cemza to be accurate at the time of preparation, or prepared from sources believed to be reliable. Health and safety precautions in this data sheet may not be adequate for all individuals or situations. Users have the responsibility to comply with all laws and procedures applicable to the safe handling and use of the product, to determine the suitability of the product for its intended use, and to understand possible hazards associated with mixing portland cement with other materials.