Facilities Management Resources
Material Safety Data Sheets and
Other Chemical Hazard Information Sites
Material Safety Data Sheets are mandated by U.S. environmental and worker safety regulations. FMLink has provided links to several of the most useful and comprehensive sources for MSDSs, as well as to sources for more general information on chemical safety and toxicity. Some of the sites are actual MSDS databases, and others provide helpful related information and products. Most offer free access to the MSDSs.
Note that each database maintains its own collection of MSDS documents, and not every chemical is maintained on file at every site. A few sites are geared towards a specific population or worksite, such as emergency personnel or laboratory workers, with information pertaining to that industry.
Some sites contain MSDS data directly from the manufacturer, while many have culled the information from the public domain. The manufacturer can be contacted for the most reliable, up-to-date information, but the sites below offer more easily accessible data in conveniently organized formats.
Chemical and Other Safety Information
The Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University
To access: http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/
This site includes extensive information on such topics as: common abbreviations for chemicals, with links to safety (MSDS
) data; consumer/industrial products: links to MSDS
and other safety data for a number of products such as food additives, non-prescription medicines, fuels, cleaners, etc.; an abbreviated guide to COSHH from the HSE; safety data on industrial and scientific gases; EU color codes for compressed gas cylinders; glossary of chemical safety terms; list of glove materials resistant to specific chemicals; list of materials incompatible with widely used chemicals; guide to interpreting MSDS sheets
; Maximum Exposure Limits (now replaced by Workplace Exposure Limits in the UK); MSDS
summaries; shock- or friction-sensitive materials; Workplace Exposure Limits drawn from HSE publication EH40/2005; and much more, with links to additional resources.
The Chemical Database
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Akron
To access: http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/erd/
Searchable database of chemicals.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Envirofacts Master Chemical Integrator (EMCI)
To access: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/emci/chemref/index.html
Formerly EPA's Chemical References Index page, this site lists chemicals that are monitored by EPA's Major Program Systems: Air (AFS), Water (PCS), Hazardous Waste (RCRIS), Superfund (CERCLIS), and Toxics Release Inventory (TRIS). Although not MSDSs, it offers a complete listing of all EMCI chemical references and it is searchable by a single word, several words, or a phrase.
Chemical Safety (NIOSH Safety and Health Topic page)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
To access: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/chemical-safety/
Offers chemical safety information in the categories of: NIOSH Databases and Other Resources, Personal Protective Equipment, Other Government Agency Resources, Non-Governmental Resources, and Material Safety Data Sheets.
Chemicals In the Environment: OPPT Chemical Fact Sheets
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention & Toxics (OPPT)
To access: http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/
This site features a simple gopher list of chemical fact sheets. They are not Material Safety Data Sheets per se, but are written in less technical language. According to the site, EPA developed these summaries on selected chemicals "to describe how you might be exposed to these chemicals, how exposure to them might affect you and the environment, what happens to them in the environment, who regulates them, and whom to contact for additional information." The site is for reference only, as most of the data was entered in 1994-95.
EXTOXNET...Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs)
University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho
To access: http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/ghindex.html
This searchable database, a cooperative effort of several universities, allows both browsing and searching, including by partial matches. Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs) are documents that provide specific pesticide information relating to health and environmental effects. PIPs are not based on an exhaustive literature search, and the information does not in any way replace or supersede the information on the pesticide product labeling or other regulatory requirements, notes the site.
Hazard Communication: OSHA Standards
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
To access: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardcommunications/standards.html
Highlights OSHA standards, preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to hazard communication.
INCHEM: Chemical Safety Information from Intergovernmental Organizations
International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
To access: http://www.inchem.org/
INCHEM offers rapid access to internationally peer-reviewed information on chemicals commonly used throughout the world, which may also occur as contaminants in the environment and food. It consolidates information from a number of intergovernmental organizations whose goal it is to assist in the sound management of chemicals. Searchable by full text, CAS number, or chemical name or synonym.
International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs): International Programme on Chemical Safety
World Health Organization (WHO); National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
To access: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcs/icstart.html
These safety cards are available in several languages. The U.S. National Version of the cards was modified by NIOSH to include: Occupational Safety and Health Administration Permissible Exposure Limits (OSHA PELs); NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limits (NIOSH RELs); Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health values (IDLHs); and Links to the Appendices in the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Infectious Substances
Public Health Agency of Canada's Office of Laboratory Security
To access: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/msds-ftss/index-eng.php
These MSDSs are produced for laboratory personnel, whether in research, public health, teaching, etc., and others working in the life sciences as quick safety reference material relating to infectious micro-organisms. The MSDSs are organized to contain health hazard information such as infectious dose, viability (including decontamination), medical information, laboratory hazard, recommended precautions, handling information, and spill procedures. Because these workers are potentially exposed to much higher concentrations of these human pathogens than the general public, the terminology in these MSDS is technical and detailed, containing information that is relevant specifically to the laboratory setting.
Material Safety Data Sheets (Online Safety Library)
Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Department, Oklahoma State University
To access: http://www.ehs.okstate.edu/links/Msds.htm
Offers links to major MSDS databases, MSDSs for inks and toners from the manufacturers' sites, and sites for information on a particular chemical. It also offers helpful information about MSDSs, mostly from OSU: Acronyms and Common Terms Used in MSDSs (OhASIS/CDC), Definitions of Common MSDS Terminology (OSU EHS), Glossary of Common MSDS Terms (OSU EHS), Guide for Reviewing MSDS Completeness (OSU EHS), MSDS Guidelines (Health Canada), Material Safety Data Sheets (OSU EHS), and MSDS 101 (Genium Publishing). The site also includes pertinent sections on Hazardous Materials and Safety Training, accessible from the tabs on top.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
To access: http://ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca/msds/search.html
This MSDS database is searchable by manufacturer/supplier. An annual subscription is required to view the records that result from searches on this site. The site also includes CHEMINFO, CHEMpendium, and RTECS searchable databases, as well as a purchasable MSDS Management Service (a custom collection of MSDSs specific to your workplace) and other resources.
To access: http://www.msdsprovider.com/1/provider/home
Offers free, up-to-date MSDSs to the public, searchable alphabetically by manufacturer. The company also offers numerous MSDS and chemical inventory management software products and services for purchase, as well as other resources.
To access: http://www.msdssearch.com/
Comprehensive, free MSDS-related information. It offers links directly to manufacturers ("Manf" tab); MSDS Databases ("DB"); basic MSDS information ("Info"); related government and organization standards, etc. ("Gov"); and Software ("Software"). MSDS-SEARCH contacts manufacturers on a periodic basis to request new copies of the data base records; updates or changes are downloaded in those files to the client library. The Software and Services page includes links to MSDS authoring and translation, training, and products for purchase, as well as a Directory of Environmental Software Suppliers and The 1999 Safety & Health Software Census. The site also offers an MSDS Dictionary, News, Emergency Response page, and more.
NIOSH Databases and Information Resources
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
To access: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/database.html
The NIOSH Web site features many different types of databases and information resources. They are categorized here by Chemical; Injury, Illness & Hazards Data and Information; Publications; Respirators and Other Personal Protective Equipment; Agriculture; and Construction. The most popular databases include the International Chemical Safety Cards, NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, and NIOSHTIC-2.
OSHA Form 174: Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)/U.S. Chamber of Commerce
To access: http://business.uschamber.com/tools/osh174_m.asp
OSHA Form 174 is a non-mandatory format that chemical manufacturers and importers can use to comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. This blank form shows employers what kind of information they are required to obtain from suppliers and to convey to their employees regarding hazardous materials and chemicals that the employees may be exposed to in the workplace, including the chemicals' identity, characteristics, and hazard data. The site's Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) page explains the role these data sheets play in several recordkeeping requirements.
Preparedness and Prevention of Chemical Emergencies
Law Offices of Michael Pines
To access: http://www.seriousaccidents.com/legal-articles/Chemical-Emergencies.php
This professional site offers information on preparing Risk Management Plans (RMPs) to document how to manage risk, particularly the risk of chemical exposure, whether accidental or in conjunction with a terrorist attack. It offers links to various government and private sector resources for developing risk management plans; information on the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); laws and regulations concerning public exposure and industry usage of industrial chemicals; and guidance for preventing chemical accidents.
Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets
State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
To access: http://web.doh.state.nj.us/rtkhsfs/indexfs.aspx
These fact sheets are prepared for substances on the New Jersey Right to Know Hazardous Substance List. The fact sheets are prepared on pure substances and contain information on health hazards, exposure limits, personal protective equipment, proper handling, first aid, and emergency procedures for fires and spills. They are searchable and many are available in Spanish.
Safety Links: Material Safety Data Sheets
Kansas State University's James R. Macdonald Laboratory
To access: http://jrm.phys.ksu.edu//Safety/msds.html
Offers a history of the MSDS, links to official government information, and links to numerous large MSDS database sites.
SIRI MSDS Index
Vermont Safety Information Resources, Inc. (SIRI)
To access: http://www2.siri.org/msds/index.php
This index was compiled by a noncommercial organization that exists to ensure that safety, emergency, and medical specialists as well as employers and employees in general who may be exposed to chemical products have immediate access to the most current and accurate information available via the Internet. The product information was extracted from information published by the federal government and placed by the government in the public domain. The user first searches for an MSDS directly from the manufacturer, then searches the SIRI database. Some of the links are not valid, but extensive information is still available. It also includes searchable toxicology reports (not MSDSs) for chemical toxicity data, and links to other useful MSDS resources.
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ASTDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
To access: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html
A series of summaries about hazardous substances developed by the ATSDR Division of Toxicology. Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy-to-understand guide. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health.
TOXNET--Toxicology Data Network
National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Library of Medicine
To access: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/
Searchable databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Databases include: ChemIDplus, HSDB, TOXLINE, CCRIS, DART, GENETOX, IRIS, ITER, LactMed, Multi-Database, TRI, Haz-Map, Household Products, TOXMAP, and CPDB.
Where to Find Material Safety Data Sheets on the Internet
Interactive Learning Paradigms, Inc.
To access: http://www.ilpi.com/MSDS/
This comprehensive site contains numerous links to free MSDS databases and related sites, divided into: General sites, Government and non-profit agencies, Chemical manufacturers and suppliers, Pesticides (herbicides, insecticides etc.), and Miscellaneous. It also provides MSDS FAQs, Regulations, Glossary, Software, Suppliers, Books, Store, and more.