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Safety, Health and Environmental Information

U.T. restricted : Restricted to UT-Austin
star : Recommended

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

An MSDS is provided by the manufacturer of a chemical product. The quality, completeness, and reliability of MSDS vary widely. Don't rely on MSDS for information that is critical to managing laboratory hazards and safety.

FINDING MSDS: Some of the more commonly used MSDS search sites are listed here - some are OK, some are terrible, none is comprehensive. This is one kind of search where using Google is probably just as effective.

In 2012 OSHA released an updated Hazard Communication Standard, adopting a Globally Harmonized System that changes labeling requirements and standardizes the format of the MSDS (now known simply as the Safety Data Sheet or SDS). More explanation can be found at ILPI.



ACS Chemical Health and Safety
Links to useful safety information, including the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety.

ATSDR Toxic Substances Portal
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry provides information and lists of toxic substances and their health effects. See also the CERCLA Priority List of Hazardous Substances. (Centers for Disease Control)

CAMEO Chemicals
NOAA database of over 6,000 hazardous materials (with over 82,000 synonyms). Each chemical data sheet describes the material and its properties, and includes information on fire and explosive hazards, health hazards, firefighting techniques, cleanup procedures, and protective clothing.

Chemical Compatibility Database
Select a chemical and/or material (of containers or protective clothing) and see chemical effect ratings. For example, see that ammonia and polyurethane do not get along well. (Cole-Parmer)

Chemical Safety Board
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents.

Compendium of Pesticide Common Names
"This Compendium is believed to be the only place where all of the ISO-approved standard names of chemical pesticides are listed. It also includes approved names from national and international bodies for pesticides that do not have ISO names."

Dow Lab Safety Academy
A series of instructional streaming videos for laboratory safety training.

EPA logo

"ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is EPA's online warehouse of all publicly available chemical toxicity data and can be used to find all publicly available data about potential chemical risks to human health and the environment. ACToR aggregates data from over 1000 public sources on over 500,000 environmental chemicals searchable by chemical name, other identifiers and by chemical structure."

EPA - Chemical Data Reporting
The Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires manufacturers, including importers, to submit information on the chemicals they produce domestically or import into the United States during the principal reporting year. The non-confidential portion of data is publicly available. You can use this data to find out what chemicals are being produced and used at industrial sites in the United States.

EPA - ChemView
Chemical health and safety data received by EPA and EPA's assessments and regulatory actions for specific chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

EPA - Health & Environmental Research Online
The HERO database indexes over 300,000 studies from the literature that the EPA has used to develop risk assessments about environmental hazards.

EPA - High Production Volume Information System
Selected health and environmental effect information on chemicals that are manufactured in exceptionally large amounts. Includes some physical-chemical, fate, and toxicity data.

EPA - Substance Registry System
The Substance Registry System (SRS) is the EPA's central system for information about regulated and monitored substances. The system provides a common basis for identification of chemicals, biological organisms, and other substances listed in EPA regulations and data systems, as well as substances of interest from other sources, such as publications.

EPA - Toxic Release Inventory
TRI tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment. There are various methods of accessing the data, by search tools and downloads.

EPA - Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
Information about TSCA can be found on the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics web site. The inventory itself can be downloaded from the federal web site. (Note: TSCA Inventory status is indicated via the CHEMLIST display in SciFinder/Registry.)

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
A registry of the "chemicals manufactured and imported in Europe. It covers their hazardous properties, classification and information on how to use them safely. It is generated by industry in line with their responsibilities under the EU chemicals legislation." Includes evaluated data on properties, toxicology, and manufacture.

Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) star
Part of the TOXNET system, HSDB provides peer-reviewed toxicology data for about 5,000 chemicals. (NIH/NLM)

"Haz-Map is an occupational toxicology database designed to link jobs to hazardous job tasks which are linked to occupational diseases and their symptoms. It is a relational database of chemicals, jobs and diseases. The 3218 chemical and biological agents in the database are linked to industrial processes and non-occupational activities. Linkage indicates the potential for exposure to the agent." (NIH/NLM)

Household Products Database star
This database links over 4,000 consumer brands to health effects from MSDS provided by the manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. Information is from a variety of publicly available sources including brand-specific labels and MSDS provided by manufacturers and manufacturers' web sites. (NIH/NLM)

IRIS - Integrated Risk Information System
Database containing information on human health effects (cancer and non-cancer) that may result from exposure to various substances in the environment. IRIS is prepared and maintained by the EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within the Office of Research and Development (ORD).

NFPA Standards U.T. restricted
Full text access to the latest standards of the National Fire Protection Association, via IHS. NFPA Standard no.704 describes the familiar "diamond" signs describing hazardous contents for emergency response.

NIOSH International Chemical Safety Cards
An ICSC summarizes essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the shop floor level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other work places.

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
Intended as a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals.

PAN Pesticides Database
Toxicity and regulatory information for pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. (Pesticide Action Network)

Pesticides Properties Database
A relational database of pesticide approvals, physicochemical properties, environmental fate, human health and ecotoxicological data for substances approved for use in the EC and other countries. (Agriculture & Environment Research Unit (AERU), Univ. of Hertfordshire)

"REACH is the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1st June 2007. It streamlines and improves the former legislative framework on chemicals of the European Union (EU)."

SciFinder (CHEMLIST) U.T. restricted
Many commercially available substances listed in the CAS Registry system link to a display of regulatory information.

Toxicological Profiles
The ATSDR toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the hazardous substance described. (HHS/CDC/ATSDR)

Search interface to a cluster of important databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas. Databases include: ChemIDplus (the chemical search interface); HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank, see above); IRIS (see above), GENE-TOX; CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System); Household Products Database (see above); Toxline (bibliographic data); DART/ETIC (Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology); and TRI (Toxic Release Inventory). (NIH/NLM)

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. Also available for mobile devices. (NIH/NLM)

Laboratory Safety

Chemical & Engineering News - Safety Letters
An index of the chemical safety letters that have appeared in C&EN since 1993. Researchers occasionally report unexpected or misunderstood chemical/reactive hazards in this magazine.

Chemical technicians' ready-reference handbook. 5th ed.
QD 61 S58 2011 Reference
Chapters deal with lab safety and chemical handling.

CRC handbook of laboratory safety. 5th ed.
QD 63.5 C73 2000 Reference
Overview and guide to safety practices.

Encyclopedia of reagents for organic synthesis.
QD 262 E53 2009 Reference
The freely available abstracts to articles in this reference work contain brief details about handling and safety of laboratory reagents. (UT does not have access to the full articles online, but the 2009 print edition is available in the library's reference section.)

First-aid manual for chemical accidents.
RC 963.3 L4313 Reference
Index in front for 500 industrial products, pointing to sections on toxicology, and first aid for inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact.

Laboratory health and safety dictionary.
QD 63.5 G67 2001 Reference
2500 entries covering chemical hygiene, safety procedures, exposures, with terms found in OSHA standards, MSDS, etc.

Prudent practices in the laboratory. 2nd ed. star
T 55.3 H3 P78 2011 Reference
e-book Ebook
Guide to laboratory safety, chemicals handling and disposal, risk assessment, etc. Prepared by the National Research Council.

Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories. 7th ed.
QD 63.5 S24 2003 Stacks
e-book Volume 1, for Students ; Volume 2, for Faculty and administrators.

UT Austin Laboratory Safety
Resources and guidelines from the Environmental Health & Safety office, including the Lab Safety Manual.

Hazardous Materials

Bretherick's handbook of reactive chemical hazards. 5th ed.
T 55.3 H3 B73 1999 Reference, 2 vols.
Section 1 contains information on instability and interactions of compounds, by formula. Section 2 has more general information on classes or groups of compounds, listed alphabetically.

Chemical hazards of the workplace. 5th ed.
RA 1229 P76 2004 Reference
Introductory statements on toxicology of chemicals likely to be encountered at work, aimed at health professionals. Indexed by name/synonym and CAS Registry Number.

Clinical toxicology of commercial products. 5th ed.
RA 1211 C585 1984 Reference
Guide to immediate treatment of chemical poisoning through misuse of consumer products, providing a list of trade names and ingredients, company information, sample formulas and toxicities, and treatment recommendations. See the chart inside the front cover for a quick guide to use.

Comprehensive guide to the hazardous properties of chemical substances. 3rd ed.
RA 1215 P38 2007 Reference
Compendium including organics, metals, inorganics, gases, particulates, and radioactive substances; examines toxicity, flammability, reactivity, handling, and disposal practices.

Concise international chemical assessment document series (CICAD)
RA 1190 C673 Stacks
e-book PDF
Monographs on specific compounds and compound groups, published by the International Programme on Chemical Safety, a unit of the World Health Organization. They are all available free online as well.

Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 5th ed.
TD 196 O73 V47 2009 Reference, 4 vols.
Data on properties, fate, air and water pollution factors, biological effects. Extensive introduction and molecular formula index; many references.

Haz mat data, 2nd ed.
T 55.3 H3 P64 2004 Reference
Hazmat data on 1450 hazardous chemicals found in the industrial workplace and frequently transported in bulk.

IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans.
RC 268.57 I57 Life Science
e-book PDF
"The IARC Monographs identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of human cancer. These include chemicals, complex mixtures, occupational exposures, physical agents, biological agents, and lifestyle factors. National health agencies can use this information as scientific support for their actions to prevent exposure to potential carcinogens. Interdisciplinary working groups of expert scientists review the published studies and evaluate the weight of the evidence that an agent can increase the risk of cancer." They are all available free on the IARC web site as well. (WHO/IARC)

Regulatory chemicals handbook.
TD 196 C45 S65 2000 Reference
Guide to over 750 chemical pollutants, including air pollutants (HAPs), priority water pollutants (PWPs), and OSHA-listed chemicals. Gives physical, chemical, and biological properties, regulatory status, storage information, and more.

Sax's dangerous properties of industrial materials. 11th ed. star
T 55.3 H3 S3 2004 Reference, 3 vols.
Alphabetic listing of over 20,000 materials. Entries include registry number, NIOSH-RTECS accession number, toxic and hazard reviews (THR), and toxicity data, and a hazard rating. Vol. 1 has synonym and reg. no. indexes. A well-known standard resource.

Sigma-Aldrich library of chemical safety data. 2nd ed. star
T 55.3 H3 S54 1988 Reference, 2 vols.
Useful compendium of toxicity, disposal, handling and first-aid information for over 14,000 chemicals, in alphabetical sequence. Indexes in vol. 2 by formula, registry number, Aldrich catalog number, and synonym. Includes trade names.

Sigma-Aldrich library of regulatory and safety data.
T 55.3 H3 S545 1993 Reference, 3 vols.
Regulatory, handling, and toxicity information for thousands of pure compounds organized by chemical class.

Sittig's handbook of toxic and hazardous chemicals and carcinogens. 4th ed.
RA 1215 S58 2002 Reference, 2 vols.
Chemical, health and safety information on 1,500 toxic and hazardous chemicals.

Wiley guide to chemical incompatibilities. 3rd ed.
T 55.3 H3 P647 2009 Reference
9000 chemical incompatibility profiles for more than 11,000 chemicals.