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B. Information Sources on Hazardous Materials

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B. Information Sources on Hazardous Materials

It is the responsibility of all researchers to be familiar with the health and physical hazards of all chemicals involved in their work. Information on hazardous chemicals and procedures for handling them can be obtained from books available in the Thomas Cooper Library, and Environmental Health & Safety. Safety Data Sheets (see below) are another valuable source of information. Additional information on hazardous chemicals can be obtained by contacting EHS (777-5269). Information on hazardous chemicals is available in the following references:
The Sigma-Aldrich Library of Chemical Safety Data (2nd ed.), R. E. Lenga, Ed., 2 volumes, 1988. (This 4,098-page work provides information on the properties of over 14,000 compounds. Toxicity data, health hazards, and suggested methods of first aid, handling, storage, and waste disposal are also included).
Handbook of Laboratory Safety (3rd ed.), A. K. Furr, Ed., 1989 (704 page reference on all aspects of lab safety).
Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, prepared by the National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1981 (available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418, 291 pages).
Chemical Hazards of the Workplace (2nd ed.), N. H. Proctor, J. P. Hughes, and M. L. Fischman, 1988. (573 pages; includes fairly detailed discussions of the toxicology of 438 hazardous substances).
Safety in the Chemical Laboratory, Edited by N. V. Steere and M. M. Renfrew, 4 volumes, 1967-1981 (collection of articles from the "Safety in the Chemical Laboratory" feature of the Journal of Chemical Education).
Prudent Practices for Disposal of Chemicals from Laboratories, prepared by the National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1983 (available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; 282 pages).
Rapid Guide to Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace (2nd ed.), R. J. Lewis, Ed., 1990 (concise compilation of properties and safety data such as PELs, TLVs, etc. for 800 substances).
OSHA Laboratory Safety Guidance
NIOSH School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide

C. Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Safety Data Sheets are valuable sources of information on hazardous substances. A SDS typically includes information on a compound's physical properties (boiling point, odor, appearance) and also contains data concerning health hazards (exposure limits, symptoms of exposure, first aid), fire and explosion hazards (flash point, recommendations on extinguishing fires), chemical reactivity, and recommended methods for handling storage, spill control, and waste disposal.
Federal law requires that suppliers send an SDS to USC the first time a compound is ordered by a student or employee. There are three ways to can access SDSs and other health and safety information. The following web sites contain SDSs and other information on hazardous chemicals. Web sites can be added as "Bookmarks" or "Hotspots" in whatever web browser you use so they may be more readily accessed. The SDS databases, in particular, are extremely valuable because they provide everyone with easy access to thousands of Safety Data Sheets on hazardous compounds. You can view, print, or save to disk this information from all of these sources.
USC EHS web site: This USC web site a complete list of resources and laboratory safety information, including information on laboratory inspections, hazardous waste management and SDS resources.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (Centers for Disease Control):

Chemical Abstracts Service (American Chemical Society):

Cornell University safety web site (a MSDS database of 300,000+ compounds):

Envirocare, Int. MSDS search:

Fisher Scientific Internet Catalog (including online MSDS searches):

Interactive Learning Paradigms, Inc. (this site contains information on MSDSs and lists over 85 different MSDS sites on the Internet):

Other Safety Information on the WEB:

  • EHS web site (http://ehs.sc.edu/) is used to disseminate information on health and safety issues. This web site provides a wealth of safety-related information.

  • The OSHA Laboratory Standard  regulatory text from the OSHA website (http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_1450.html)

  • A self-audit checklist for laboratories (http://ehs.sc.edu/guides/lab_gui.htm).

  • Glove Selection Chart (http://ehs.sc.edu/gloves.htm). Consult this chart to select the proper glove.

  • Chemical Storage Guidelines (http://ehs.sc.edu/chemstorage.html)

It is a good idea to learn to use the web to access safety information on substances with which you will be working before starting a research project. It is not a good idea to have to learn the use of these systems during an emergency while a coworker is being transported to the hospital following a laboratory accident.

Chapter IV. Protective Equipment

This section of the Laboratory Safety and Chemical Hygiene Plan discusses equipment and personal apparel that may be required to protect researchers from the hazards presented by certain chemicals. Note that the standard operating procedures for work with specific hazardous substances often also include special requirements for the use of protective equipment. See Parts V-VII of this Chemical Hygiene Plan for further discussion of work situations that require the use of protective equipment.

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