Environmental Health & Safety
Laboratory Safety Unit
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
What is the purpose of a Safety Data Sheet?
Safety Data Sheets are fact sheets for hazardous chemicals which are developed by the manufacturer to communicate the hazards of the specific chemical, provide guidance for protecting the user from exposure under normal conditions of use and during emergencies (e.g. handlind, storage, personal protective equipment) and, per federal regulations, must be readily available for all chemicals defined as hazardous.
Safety Data Sheets are available to the University community electronically through a computer program called CHEMATIX. For more information on this program, please visit the Chematix information page at http://www.safety.rochester.edu/labsafety/chematix_intro.html. Copies of SDSs are also available through EH&S by either calling 275-3241 or email email@example.com.
You may obtain an SDS (MSDS) for your specific chemical or product by doing a quick Google search using your preferred web browser as well. In addition, the manufacturer or vendor is often an excellent resource for the specific SDS for the product you are using. The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) has made SDSs available for their staff at http://safety.lle.rochester.edu/530_chemical/msds.php.
Environmental Health & Safety strongly encourages locations using highly hazardous chemicals (e.g. acutely toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic, carcinogenic, reproductive hazards) to keep paper copies of SDSs on site in case of emergency.
Directions for obtaining a Safety Data Sheet through the Chematix program:
- Log into CHEMATIX - CHEMATIX Login link with your University Net ID and password
- On the second page, click on the button labeled "Safety Data Sheet Search through MSDSonline" located below the "Continue with UR Credentials" to navigate to the University's account with MSDSonline.
- Search the MSDSonline library using the product name, manufacture, CAS number, or product code to find the SDS
- You may narrow the results by choosing the manufacturer, the language and the regulatory format (preferably 'GHS SDS') in the first column.
- The SDS is presented in PDF format and may be downloaded and/or printed.
- PLEASE NOTE: As of May 1 2018, the system requirements for using MSDSonline will change - the new requirements are:
- Internet Explorer 10+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari (Mac)
- Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 for SDS / MSDS Library Backup
- Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (Version 2015+)
Options for obtaining Safety Data Sheets during an Emergency:
- Log into CHEMATIX(as noted above) and search the MSDSonline library
- Contact Environmental Health & Safety at 275-3241, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday
- Contact Public Safety at ext. 13 after hours and on weekends
Emergency information regarding exposures to chemicals is also available 24/7 by calling the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
For a quick explanation of the type of information included on a Safety Data Sheet, refer to the OSHA website - Quick Card Reference - Safety Data Sheets.
QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.
This page last updated 3/20/2018. Disclaimer.