Safety references

Safety references in Yale libraries

Internet resources


OEHS resources

Exposure limits and guidelines



A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a chemical or product specific health and safety reference. it is prepared by the manufacturer of each hazardous chemical and contains much of health and safety information necessary to perform a protocol risk assessment. You should consult an MSDS whenever you begin working with a new chemical and periodically to see if the information has changed. although the format for MSDS vary widely, the information found within them is consistent and includes:
Physical and chemical properties.
Health hazard information include short and long term exposure effects.
Permissible exposure limits and symptoms of overexposure.
A description of how to safely handle the substance under normal and emergency situations.
A description of what first aid and medical treatment is appropriate if excessively exposed.
It should be noted that some of the health and safety guidance in the MSDS has been written to address worst case scenarios that would be very unusual in the laboratory setting. Therefore, applying the information found in some MDSDs requires judgment.

Material Safety Data Sheets are available at Yale University from the following sources:

Sigma Aldrich products are available on CD-ROM from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety Office and the following four libraries - Medical School Library, Engineering Library, Kline Science Library, and the Chemistry Department Instrument Room. Sigma Aldrich MSDSs are also available on the internet from their web site (visit the OEHS web site link for instructions).
The OEHS Web site found at Http:// provides direct links to MSDSs from several laboratory chemical suppliers, sites that have extensive listings of MSDSs, and the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
The OEHS office maintains an extensive collect of MSDSs from suppliers of laboratory chemicals.
Directly from your supplier of the chemicals by request.