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topic 0317

MSDS for Black Anodize Coating?

A discussion started in 1996 but continuing through 2018


We have a customer who called me on Friday, who asked me to supply him with a statement to identify the toxicity of Black Anodize and the flammability of Black Anodize. His original request was for an MSDS sheet for Black Anodize. We do not have an MSDS sheet for Black Anodize. I can give him an answer that would be satisfactory; however does anyone have some information that can be consistently used to respond to a question of this scope?


Joe Hillock
- anodizing shop - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

An excellent question, Joe! Unfortunately, one that I don't know how to respond to.

Warning sheets are appropriate for some finished articles, for example, asbestos brake linings--but not for other things like boxes of breakfast cereal.

If we were sure that an article had no toxic properties, I suppose we could say so in a single sentence, and this headache would be easily dismissed. But if none of us is prepared to individually make a sweeping statement, it's a problem. I guess some sort of industry organization should be making the statements, but I don't know who or how.

Ideas, anyone?

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever


I think we have to look at everything, for now, on a case by case basis. For this question, I would want to know what object has been coated with the black anodize. (Baby spoons, external hardware on an eighteen wheeler, the truck on a 100 foot flagpole?)

pooky tom pullizi signature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


I serve as environmental compliance consultant for a steel coil electro-galvanizing company. The company has prepared MSDSs for each type of finished product (e.g., E/G coating, phosphate coating, Cornerbead). As the manufacturer of a product containing hazardous materials, you are obligated by OSHA to prepare MSDSs for each and submit one copy at least one time a year to your customers. Hope this helps.

Rosalie Skefich
environmental services

Thanks, Rosalie, but I might have to disagree with you because who says they contain hazardous materials? My black anodized (hard anodized and presumably not dyed) Caliphon frying pans come without an MSDS warning of toxic properties or flammability problems and that is for a food surface a family eats off of. If it had come with an MSDS, I'd want my senator and congressperson fired for failing to exercise due oversight over the multitude of new offices they've erected.

Appropriate warnings for hazardous materials are vital and should be encouraged in every way; but I think we're talking about non hazardous materials. MSDS for non hazardous materials is stupid make-work and should be opposed with equal vigor :-)

Just an opinion. Thanks again.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

March 12, 2011

Many anodizing dyes contain hexavalent chrome. Others do not. For parts not containing chromium base dye I respond to our customers as follows.

There is no MSDS for anodizing. It is not hazardous material and would therefore not require one. In fact it is not even a material. Anodizing is a process used to form aluminum oxide by electrochemically oxidizing the surface of an aluminum part in a sulfuric acid electrolyte.

Likewise there is no FDA "document" on anodizing. An anodized aluminum surface is composed of aluminum oxide and some aluminum sulfate. Aluminum sulfate is on the FDA GRAS list section 182.1125. In addition all of the aluminum compounds listed by the Select Committee on GRAS Substances are considered GRAS with no reservations. Aluminum oxide is not listed however it is chemically inert and probably the least reactive of all aluminum compounds.

Anodized aluminum is considered "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) by the FDA but it is not on any of their published lists. However a search of their website will find numerous anodized food processing and biomedical products that have been approved. The following is a quote from a letter, dated June 16, 1994 to Anacote Corporation Long Island City, NY "... FDA considers anodized aluminum which is processed and handled in a manner consistent with good manufacturing practices for food contact articles as generally recognized as safe (GRAS)..." The FDA website states; "The use of a substance is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) because of widespread knowledge among the community of qualified experts, not because of a listing or other administrative activity."

In the 1940's and 50's you could buy butter in anodized dishes and other food products in anodized tumblers. A variety of hardcoat anodized fry pans and other cookware are currently on the market and we have anodized instruments for laparoscopic surgery, parts for endoscopes, heart pumps, and food processing equipment for many years.

Bob Wood
metal finishing - Dexter, Michigan, USA

November 30, 2018

Q. Has there been any change in the status or thoughts regarding an S.D.S. sheet for the Anodizing Process? We get requests from companies for an S.D.S. sheet on the anodizing, when they are the company supplying the aluminum extrusion to be anodized. Up to now we have been stating that anodizing is not a hazardous material and does not require an S.D.S . The Anodic coating has not been determined to be hazardous, it is approved by the FDA and is considered to be (GRAS) Generally recognized as safe. Has that determination been reconsidered and changed?

R Scott Ebert
Stylmark Inc. - Fridley, Minnesota USA

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