What is a Material Safety Data Sheet?
A material safety data sheet (MSDS) is a written document from a chemical manufacturer or supplier describing the common name(s) of the product, the physical and health hazards, entry routes, permissible exposure limits, and precautions or controls for safe chemical use. The MSDS also includes emergency first aid procedures; and the name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer or supplier. A MSDS is part of a Chemical Hazard Communication Program or a Laboratory Safety Manual.
Finding MSDSs and Chemical Safety Information
The manufacturer or supplier should provide a MSDS when the product is shipped. If a MSDS is not received with the product, there are a number of ways to obtain a MSDS:
- Visit the manufacturer or supplier’s website and download the MSDS
- Contact the manufacturer or supplier via telephone or email to request a MSDS
- Search the World Wide Web
- Visit the following websites which provide MSDS and chemical safety resources:
Note: The above links are provided as a courtesy. The availability and/or accuracy of any information obtained from these websites are NOT the responsibility of Environmental Health & Safety or Washington State University.
If you need assistance in obtaining an MSDS, please follow the procedure below or contact EH&S at 335-3041:
- Collect information about the product for which you are requesting an MSDS (e.g. product name, manufacturer name, product ID, or number, etc.)
- Fill out an MSDS request form with the above information.
- Send the form to EH&S at WSU Campus Zip 1172
Employees should be trained on where the MSDSs are stored and how to read a MSDS based on the department’s Chemical Hazard Communication Program or Laboratory Safety Manual (Chemical Hygiene Plan).
Laboratory Safety Manual (Chemical Hygiene Plan)
Fact Sheet: Chemical Safety: Labels and MSDSs
Safety Policies and Procedures Manual: Chemical Hazard Communication Program