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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.

ATSDR Toxic Substances Portal
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

To access:
Offers access to "the most important information" about toxic substances and how they affect people's health, with an A-Z listing of chemical substances by name; chemical database searchable by chemical abstracts service number (CAS#), substance name, synonym, or tradename; and a searchable map displaying locations where the selected substance is known to be present. Site also offers toxicological resources by health effects of exposure and chemical classification as well as by audience (healthcare workers, emergency responders, etc.); and links to resources such as ToxFAQs (summaries about hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and their health effects) and ToxGuides (quick reference guides). The agency's home page also includes links to information about areas with specific toxic release issues, such as Camp Lejeune, NC, and Yellowstone River 2011: Silvertip Pipeline Spill.

Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security (for developing countries)
National Research Council

To access:
2010 publication from the National Research Council of the National Academies that provides guidance to laboratories in developing countries, particularly on safe and secure practices in the handling and storage of hazardous chemicals, with the goal of greater productivity, savings and cooperation.

Chemical References
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Envirofacts Master Chemical Integrator (EMCI)

To access:
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:
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:
This site is for reference only, as most of the data was entered in 1994-95. It features a simple gopher list of chemical fact sheets. They are not Material Safety Data Sheets per se, but contain similar information 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."

EXTOXNET...Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs)
University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho

To access:
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.

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
United Nations

To access:
This globally agreed-upon system addresses classification of chemicals by types of hazard and proposes harmonized hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets. It aims at ensuring that information on physical hazards and toxicity from chemicals be available in order to enhance the protection of human health and the environment during the handling, transport and use of these chemicals. The GHS also provides a basis for harmonization of rules and regulations on chemicals at national, regional and worldwide level, an important factor also for trade facilitation. While governments, regional institutions and international organizations are the primary audiences for the GHS, it also contains sufficient context and guidance for those in industry who will ultimately be implementing the requirements which have been adopted.

Hazard Communication Standard
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

To access:
OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard now aligns with the internationally agreed-upon Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals [see entry above], created by the United Nations. The updated OSHA standard provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. It improves worker safety by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. It also helps reduce trade barriers and improves productivity for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals and that update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard.

INCHEM: Chemical Safety Information from Intergovernmental Organizations
International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)

To access:
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 (ICSC)
International Programme on Chemical Safety; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

To access:
The International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC) summarize 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. 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); and Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health values (IDLHs). These safety cards are available in several languages.

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets and Risk Assessment
Public Health Agency of Canada

To access:
Pathogen Safety Data Sheets (PSDSs) (previously titled Material Safety Data Sheets for infectious substances) are technical documents that describe the hazardous properties of a human pathogen and recommendations for work involving these agents in a laboratory setting. These documents were produced as educational and informational resources for laboratory personnel working with these infectious substances.

Safety Data Sheets (Online Safety Library)
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department, Oklahoma State University

To access:
Offers links to major MSDS databases, MSDSs for inks and toners from the manufacturers' sites, and sites for information on a particular chemical. Also offers helpful information about MSDSs, mostly from OSU: acronyms and common terms, definitions of common terminology, glossary of common terms, MSDS checklist, etc. The site also includes pertinent sections on Hazardous Materials, Hazard Communication and Safety Training, accessible from the tabs on top.

MSDS Search
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

To access:
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:
Offers free, unlimited access for the public to 1 million SDSs, searchable alphabetically by manufacturer. The company also offers numerous SDS and chemical inventory management software products and services for purchase, as well as other resources.


To access:
Comprehensive, free MSDS-related national repository of information, but last modified in 2008. 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").

NIOSH Data and Statistics Gateway: Other Data Resources
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

To access:
This page links to information about NIOSH investigations, products, hazards, and a variety of tests and measurements. Hazards resources include: Emergency Response Safety and Health Database, International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO), Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health Values (IDLH), NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, NIOSHTIC 2 Bibliographic Research Database, and Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards.

Preparedness and Prevention of Chemical Emergencies
Law Offices of Michael Pines

To access:
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

To access:
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:
Offers a history of the MSDS, links to official government information, and links to numerous large MSDS database sites.

Vermont Safety Information Resources, Inc. (SIRI)

To access:
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.

TLV/BEI Resources

To access:
Occupational and environmental health organization ACGIH annually ratifies Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) for workplace exposure to chemicals. The TLVs and BEIs are guidelines on chemical exposure levels to be used by professionals trained in the practice of industrial hygiene; they are not designed to be used as standards. The TLVs and BEIs are health-based values established by committees that review existing published and peer-reviewed literature in various scientific disciplines. Based on the available information, ACGIH formulates a conclusion on what level of exposure the typical worker can experience without adverse health effects. There is no consideration given to economic or technical feasibility. The organization offers the TLVs and BEIs along with several supporting resources, for purchase.

TOXNET--Toxicology Data Network
National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Library of Medicine

To access:
Searchable databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.

Where to Find Material Safety Data Sheets on the Internet
Interactive Learning Paradigms, Inc.

To access:
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.

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