Flask Logo Organic Chemistry at CU Boulder

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Manufacturers are required to provide an MSDS for each chemical they ship and each place of business is required to have an MSDS for each chemical they have on the premises. MSDSs for the compounds in the organic chemistry teaching lab area are located in the organic chemistry stockroom (Ekeley M1B48), and on the TA's desk in each teaching lab. There are quite a few online listings of MSDSs, as given below, either by manufacturer or through a database of many companies.

Manufacturer MSDSs

The following sites have searchable databases for all the chemicals that they sell. An advantage of these is that each MSDS on the site is standardized, meaning that once you get used to reading the particular style that they use, understanding MSDSs from the same database will be easier. One disadvantage is that when you do a search for a chemical, it will pull up several purities or concentrations of a particular compound, and you will need to choose one of these to get to the MSDS (choose the purest). Another disadvantage is that if they do not sell it, they will not have the MSDS.

MSDS Databases

The sites below allow you to search for a chemical in a lot of company databases. A search may pull up a whole page-full of rather daunting links; just choose one that looks good and see what it pulls up; if you don't like it, go back and try another. Since the MSDSs are written by a variety of organizations, the formats will differ.

How to Read MSDSs

OSHA regulations state that the following items must be included in the MSDS:

These items can be in any order, as long as they are included. Since MSDSs are prepared by the manufacturer of a compound, the exact format of this document is at the manufacturer's discretion.