The primary hazard communication tools that are used in the US are container labels and safety data sheets (SDS). Both documents use standardized pictograms and phrases to communicate the hazards presented by commercial chemical products.
Longwood University provides SDSs to employees and students via an on-line subscription that is accessible from any Longwood networked computer. Staff and Faculty at risk of exposure are encouraged to bookmark this site on their computer desktop.
MSDSOnline Safety Data Sheets Login Link
NOTE: This application doesn’t work well with Internet Explorer. Firefox and Chrome seem to work well with this service
- Enter the product or chemical name in the search field and click on the magnifying glass icon
- Scroll down through the results and select the most applicable product description (for example Acetone from Sigma Aldrich written in English)
- Click on the Adobe PDF icon that has “GHS+” under it and the SDS will open in a new browser window.
Hard copies of SDSs should be on-hand for commonly used hazardous materials.
For an explanation of the Hazard Pictograms used on the SDS or the product label go to this OHSA page.
The SDS must also be written in English and, at a minimum, must contain the following:
- the identity (any chemical or common name) that is used on the container label;
- the chemical and common name of all ingredients having known health hazards if present in concentrations greater than 1%, and, for carcinogens, if present at 0.1% or more;
- the physical and chemical characteristics of the hazardous components;
- the physical and health hazards, including signs and symptoms of exposure and prior and/or existing contraindicating medical conditions;
- the primary routes of entry;
- any known exposure limits (OSHA PELs or ACGIH TLVs); whether the hazardous chemical is listed in the NTP Annual Report on Carcinogens or is a potential carcinogen according to IARC or OSHA;
- precautions for safe handling and use, and procedures for spill/leak cleanup;
- control measures;
- emergency first aid procedures;
- date of preparation, and;
- the name, address, and telephone number of the company or the responsible employee distributing the MSDS.
When an SDS is prepared, the chemical has to be evaluated based on the mandatory hazards determination requirements. When uncertainty exists concerning a chemical's hazards, the preparer should be conservative in the evaluation to ensure employee protection.
Specific vendor SDS sites: