Material Safety Data Sheets
State and Federal law requires that manufacturers and distributors of chemicals provide users with copies of MSDSs. MSDSs are a valuable source of information (e.g., chemical composition, health effects, emergency procedures, personal protection needed etc.), but they can also be inadequate. MSDSs from different manufacturers provide various levels of completeness - try alternate manufacturers if your initial search does not yield adequate information. MSDSs are usually written to apply to industrial settings, and many of these types of situations probably will not occur in a laboratory environment.
The MSDS should be reviewed prior to using any chemical. MSDSs are available in the Biology, Chemistry and Natural Resources Stockrooms and some of the laboratories. If you need help interpreting an MSDS contact your instructor, stockroom personnel, CNRS Hazardous Materials Technician or HSU Environmental Health and Occupational Safety.
MSDSs are now available for many chemicals and from many manufacturers on the World Wide Web. The following is a partial list of useful Internet accessible MSDS servers. (remember that Web servers change addresses frequently, if you don't have success at one site, try another.
- Vermont SIRI MSDS Collection
- Multiple sources for MSDSs
- University MSDS Retrieval
- Vendor supplied MSDSs
- http://www.sigma-aldrich.com (requires registration- free)
- Canada MSDS
- Other MSDS Sources
- http://www.chemweb.com/msds (requires registration- free)
- Biosafety MSDS
Do you know of any sites that have good MSDS or chemical information? If so please e-mail me and let me know.