Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Chemical Fact Sheets
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) Quick Resources
MSDS’ provide necessary information about precautions for protecting against known hazards associated with chemical materials. They often include useful information on chemical, physical and toxicological properties, along with suggestions for storing, transporting and disposing of chemicals. MSDS’ are the best general source of information on chemicals that is available.
An MSDS should be obtained for each chemical that is used by your department, division, laboratory or shop. Each MSDS must be specific to the product that it describes and specific to the manufacturer of the substance.
LSCS OEM recommends that each department or laboratory that uses chemicals, place one person in charge of maintaining the Material Safety Data Sheets. This person is responsible for ensuring that there is an MSDS on file for every hazardous substance in the in area. Each MSDS needs to be kept in a location where everyone in the division or lab group can access the information. OEM recommends filing MSDS’ in a binder labeled MSDS and keep it an area where safety and emergency information is kept. While an electronic format is an acceptable way to store MSDS’, it is recommended to keep a hard copy as well (in case of a power outage or computer failure).
Web Based Retrieval
The web is a convenient and quick way to retrieve Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). However, one should use caution when retrieving MSDSs from the Internet. Some of the MSDSs found on the Internet may be of questionable quality or may not be the most current version of the MSDS. You should be using the most current MSDS for that chemical and also be sure that it is specific to the manufacturer of the chemical. When in doubt consult with OEM or your campus Facilities Department.
The LSCS Offices of Emergency Management has combined efforts and resources to create a "one-stop" source for chemical safety information. The sites referenced above cannot be used in lieu of manufacturer specific MSDS, yet it can be a valuable resource to augment the MSDS information.
Manufacturer MSDS Retrieval
The manufacturer or distributor of hazardous substances is required to provide an MSDS for every substance that they distribute. The manufacturer is often the best source of the MSDS, since the information provided is usually the most current and accurate. Manufacturer MSDSs are available through the following routes:
MSDS Form (MSword)