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Sources of Material Safety Data Sheets

There are many sources of Material Safety Data Sheets, including:

THE INTERNET

YOUR OWN WORKPLACE

The Internet is a rich source of MSDS from hundreds of sites, some of which are completely free, though you may need to register to be able to use them. These sites can be divided into the following categories:

  • Non-profit sites including various Governments' sources

  • Chemical Manufacturers' and Suppliers' sites

  • Sites specializing in the application of substances (e.g., pesticides, herbicides)

  • Business/Educational sites not specifically chemical-related

  • General sites


> Show me a list of Internet sites supplying MSDS

It is likely that MSDS are available somewhere in your place of work if hazardous chemicals are used. Ideally, these should be filed in a fixed location such as near or in the chemicals store, laboratory manager's or the Health and Safety Representative's office. So seek MSDS in these obvious places first. Often, however, such filing is haphazard, particularly in smaller businesses, and safety sheets become misplaced. In this event, the MSDS should be obtained from the supplier of the chemical or hazardous material. 

COMMERCIAL BODIES

UNIVERSITIES

Although MSDS can be obtained from various sources, Commercial Bodies such as CastleViewUK have the expertise to provide these together with a professional assessment of the hazards associated with the use of substances and associated processes, advice on minimizing risks to persons using the substances and to others involved in your business and explain the significance of the various physical and toxicological data in the MSDS in a user-friendly form. If you have obtained MSDS from other sources and have difficulty in understanding them or applying the information to your own working environment or process, you should seek professional advice. Please contact us if you need assistance with any aspect of MSDS or health and safety.

University Chemistry (and other, e.g., chemical engineering, biochemistry, biology) Departments, Health and Safety Advisors and Libraries are all potential sources of MSDS and other safety-related information. Although these and other research/teaching institutions will have collections of MSDS, they will not be extensive in comparison to MSDS available from trade suppliers, and they will not be held in a single location, so will consequently be more difficult to source than from the trade supplier. Nevertheless, Universities can be a useful place to turn in the event that the MSDS cannot be sourced elsewhere.

TRADE SUPPLIERS AND MANUFACTURERS

OTHER

All suppliers of chemicals and hazardous substances are mandated to provide MSDS for their products. Contact the Customer Services or Sales Department for the supplier  to request the MSDS. There may be a charge for supply of MSDS if you have not purchased the product, but usually the MSDS can be obtained free of charge, especially if you might then acquire the material from the supplier.

Other safety-related information can be found in chemical catalogues from trade suppliers, various chemical indexes (such as the Merck Index) and books (e.g. SAX's  Properties of Industrial Materials).

 
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