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Chemistry 303: Safety Data Sheets

Laboratory Chemical Safety

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Chemical Labeling and Classification, which requires that laboratories keep current Safety Data Sheets (SDS) available for anyone handling chemicals. As a student working in a laboratory, you must familiarize yourself with the handling and hazards associated with the chemicals you use and the appropriate response to exposure.

What is a Safety Data Sheet?

Safety Data Sheets (SDS), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), are guides to hazardous materials provided by chemical manufacturers and distributors. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that SDS be available to all employees with chemical hazards in their workplace.

Sources of Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) may often be found with a Google search that includes the name of the compound and the initials SDS. For example: aspirin sds. Useful collections of SDS include:

Other Sources for Chemical Hazard Information

Safety Data Sheets

Required sections:

  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s) identification
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
  4. First-aid measures
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and Storage
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information
  15. Regulatory information

Additional details:

OSHA Hazard Communication Standard: Safety Data Sheets