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Adverse Weather Information – Rock Salt Data Sheet

Rock Salt Composition

Brown Rock Salt

Pure salt and has a reddish-brown colouring owing to the presence of a substance called marl – a type of clay. This is a natural impurity due to where the salt deposits are mined, but it doesn’t affect tthe salt’s effectiveness in deicing.

Hazards Information

Rock Salt is unlikely to cause harmful effects under normal conditions of handling and use but there are 4 situations where emergency action is needed. To limit contact the measures below in “Exposure controls and personal protection” should be followed. First aid measures are required when there is:

  • Eye contact
    Use an eyewash solution or clean water. You must hold the eyelids apart for at least 10 minutes. If symptoms persist obtain medical attention immediately.
  • Skin contact
    After repeated or prolonged skin contact, wash the skin with water. This is highly recommended to reduce the risk of contaminated hands rubbing eyes or entering the mouth.
  • Ingestion
    If rock salt is accidentally swallowed then vomiting is likely. Wash out mouth with water then drink half a pint of water. Seek medical attention, especially if vomiting has not occurred.
  • Inhalation
    Unlikely to be required, but if necessary treat symptomatically. Washing out mouth with water after prolonged exposure would be helpful.
  • Fire fighting procedures
    Rock salt is Non-flammable and will withstand temperatures up to its melting point and beyond without decomposing. No special fire fighting procedure is required, extinguisher media or explosion hazard has been identified.
  • Cleaning Up
    Clear up spillages and wash spillage area with water.
  • Environmental Measures
    The release of grit salt dust into the environment does not pose a significant environmental hazard.

Precautions for storage & handling


Keep away from concentrated acids. Rock salt can be stored outside. Keep away from vegetation that you value.


Avoid prolonged skin contact. Avoid inhalation of high concentrations of dust. Keep away from concentrated acids and common metals.

Exposure controls and personal protection

Wear suitable personal protection equipment. For Workplace exposure limits (WELs) regarding airborne dust are given in the HSE Guidance Note EH40:ubstance WEL Period

  • Total inhalable dust 10 mg/m3 8 hour TWA
  • Respirable dust 4 mg/m3 8 hour TWA
  • Respirable Silica 0.1mg/m3 8 hour TWA

Personal protective equipment

  • Respiratory protection
    Suitable HSE approved respiratory protection should be worn to protect against inhalation of dust.
  • Hand and skin protection
    Overalls and gloves should be used to prevent contamination of the skin.
  • Eye protection
    Eye protection to the standard of BS EN 1664-4 should be used to prevent dust entering the eyes.

Product information

Stability & reactivity

  • Conditions contributing to chemical instability
    Rock salt will react with concentrated acid to produce hydrogen chloride.
  • Hazardous decomposition products
  • Special precautions
    Under wet conditions, will corrode many common metals, particularly iron, aluminium and zinc.

Toxicological information

The Short Term Effects are listed below. Action to be taken is listed in “Hazards Information” in the column to the left.

  • Eye contact
    High concentrations may cause irritation.
  • Skin contact
    Dry salt and concentrated solutions will remove the natural greases from the skin resulting in dryness. Repeated and/or prolonged contact may cause irritation.
  • Ingestion
    The swallowing of small amounts is unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Excessive doses may result in irritation of the gastro-intestinal tract, leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Inhalation
    High dust concentration may be irritant to the respiratory tract.

Long Term Effects

Chronic effects may result from the ingestion of excessive amounts of salt. Ingestion of hypertonic solutions can cause disturbance of body electrolyte and fluid balance.

Ecological information

Aquatic Toxicity Rating 96 hour LC50 (Fish) 6750mg/l; 48 hour EC50 (Daphnia) 2024mg/l; 72 hour IC50 (Algae) 3014mg/l; Daphnia Subacute 062mg/l; Fish Subacute 433mg/l. Earthworm Toxicity 1000/ug/cm2. Photodegradability Infinite OH. Disposal considerations Disposal should be in accordance with current local and national legislation.

Additional information

Transport information
Not classified as hazardous for transport.

Regulatory information
Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations. Classification – None. Workplace Exposure Limits – HSE Guidance note EH40.

Legislation and other information

  • Health & Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • HSE Guidance Note EH40 (Workplace Exposure Limits)
  • Any authorised manual on First Aid by St.John’s/St.Andrews/Red Cross
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended)
  • Prepared in accordance with UK REACH Competent Authority Information
  • Leaflet 13 – REACH and SDS – May 2008

Guidance references

Available from HMSO, HSE area offices, or local authority Environmental

Health Departments

  • Workplace Exposure Limits (EH40)
  • A step-by-step guide to COSHH Assessment (HS[G]97)
  • An introduction to Local Exhaust Ventilation (HS[G]37)
  • Respirable Crystalline Silica (EH59)
  • Dust, General Principles of Protection (EH44)
  • Control of Respirable Crystalline Silica in Quarries (HS[G]73)
  • Respirable Crystaline Silica (EH74/2)
  • Respirable Crystaline Silica (EH75)


The purpose of this data is to provide Health, Safety and Environmental guidance on the safe handling, use and disposal of Rock Salt in the UK. The information contained in this data is correct at the date of, and applies only in relation to, the supply of rock salt.

This data should alert purchasers and/or users to the usual hazards in handling the supplied material when using it within the ordinary range of uses for which such material is normally supplied. If you have purchased or arranged the supply on behalf of a third party who will work with the material supplied it is your duty to pass this information on to them BEFORE such work commences.

Reliance placed on any part or all of the information contained in this data which goes beyond the purpose set out above is entirely at the user’s own risk. Without limiting or restricting the terms and conditions upon which the material has been supplied to the extent permitted by law, disclaims all liability arising directly or indirectly from the content or preparation of this data. This data is a guide and if in doubt about anything in this document please phone 01629 630256.



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