Below is a summary of the responses from my e-mail inquiry yesterday. I've removed the identifying information from the replies, since I didn't say would pass along the responses, but thanks to everyone who did answer. - Ralph === In distributing experimental Unknowns - often in small vials - we sometimes enclose the screw-top vial in a slightly larger snap-top (cheap) plastic vial. The larger one carries hazard identification information. The smaller on can be identified by a number code. === You might consider a label consisting of an identification number and some warning icons. The number, then, refers to a posted list (or one of several identical lists) with all of the desired information on it. Inquiries from our department have indicated that this can meet legal requirements, but it is probably a good idea to check with authorities, if that is the issue. === The best idea I can give you is to investigate a system that prints labels instead of attempting to write on labels that need to be that small. == Below is an example of a label we have made for us; these are examples of some of the smallest. They give generic material class/family names, and a standardized hazards statement. There is space for the specific material, the name of the resposible party and the date. A KY OSHA officer found the warnings on these labels adequate for HAZCOM requirements == I am attaching my label template - in Microsoft word. These are not 1 x 2. They print on floppy disk labels. For small containers, I recommend that they attach a label using a tag with a string. I don't know how to make things any smaller than what is attached. == I did peptide synthesis in Biochemistry for 2 years, and had thousands of 2 ml vials of milligram quantities of peptides (samples, intermediates, products, etc.) that I kept in desiccators. I put a number on each vial, which corresponded to details in my lab notebook. On some vials, I drew notated structures that any peptide chemist would understand. We had 20 researchers in the lab who pretty much followed the same practice for labeling. When I left the laboratory to work in a Pharmacology laboratory, I made an index list and put it in the desiccators. From my experience, and knowing the diversity of chemistry, I do not believe any one system will meet your specifications. At least at some point you need to decide that labeling small vials can be done by another method. == These small vials are usually kept in the vial boxes and stored in fridges/ freezers. There are two options: 1) number the vials and place only the hazard symbol on it and then keep a inventory of the contents of the boxes and put the required information on that inventory. Tape the list to the face of the fridge/ freezer or top of the box. 2)Buy longer label so that once they are wrapped around the vial there is still a inch or so where it can adhere to itself. Most of the information can go on there. The extra tab will just wind around the vial when it goes back into the box. Depending on the department those are the options we deploy. Hope that helps? == I haven't implemented anything like this but we are currently reevaluating our inventory database. I would tend to believe that if there is an appropriate way to find this information in a log book, index, etc.. it would be similar to a manufacturing facility using their batch record to identify content and hazards. == We use the small HMIS/NFPA labels available from vendors such as Fisher or Lab Safety. == We come under similar labeling requirements for hazardous materials. What we have done with such issues in chemistry, and gained agreed acknowledgement of the oversight agency, is to label the flats that contain the vials with the pertinent information. The agency representatives have accepted that approach for this type of container. == Maybe you could try what we do in union scenic shops. We have about a couple dozen different manufacturers of paints and another 2 or 3 makers of pigments for the paints. The colored paints must be transferred into other containers and kept, so we have to identify the manufacture of the paint and the color on each label. We have a chart on the wall that lists the manufacturers and pigment companies. Each one is assigned a colored dot or a symbol (depending on the personal preference of the shop manager). The symbols are then put on the containers so it is easy for anyone walking into the shop to immediately identify both the manufacturer and that additive of each paint. In addition, the standard labels for each manufacture with their hazard warnings and the MSDSs for these products are in a book right out on the counter so all of the information is readily at hand. Some system like this might save a lot of time and ink. == We use a LIMS system to generate sample labels. The "hazard" is communicated by a color code system called Stop-N-Go (Red-Yellow-Green) Green items can be handled with ordinary lab PPE (lab coat, disposable gloves [e.g., nitrile], and safety glasses). Yellow items have a moderate hazard that require additional measures - such as a thicker glove, or gloves of a different material of construction. Red items have a severe hazard OR are research materials for which the hazards are not known. Red labeled items MUST say on the label why it is red (e.g. Toxic, Corrosive, Hazards Unknown). Text safety information for any of the colors can be electronically stored in the LIMS system and does not have to be printed out. We used to use labels with colored boarders. The LIMS printer now uses white labels so the "color code" is printed on the label in text. Often times, the researchers will voluntarily use a sharpie to draw a red line on the red coded products to provide the visual reminder of the hazard. Most of the containers are too small to wrap the label around. However, if you attach the label to the container from the center and then adhere the "left over" portions together (sticks off of the bottle like a flag), the label can be as long as you like ... the height of the label is restricted by the height of the bottle. We've even put them on 2 ml GC autosampler vials. == What we've done in my Laboratory is to have an index for warnings etc. We have pasted the index on the Laboratory notice and acquainted ourselves with it. That way the only thing we need to do on the label is to put in the index number. == The European Union uses a system of letter and numbers to indicate hazard information. It is required by all EU countries. It m ay help since a few numbers can communicate sentences of information. For example: F; T; R11-23/24/25-39/23/24/25 S(1/2-)7-16-36/37-45 This would appear on a label. Translation of the label: Hazard and Risk Phrases: F: Highly Flammable T: Toxic R11: Highly Flammable R23/24/25: Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed R39/23/24/25: Toxic: danger of very serious irreversible effects through inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed Safety Phrases: S1/2: Keep locked up and out of the reach of children S7: Keep container tightly closed S16: Keep away from sources of ignition - No smoking S36/37: Wear suitable protective clothing and gloves S45: In case of accident or if you feel unwell seek medical advice immediately (show the label where possible) A list can be kept in the storage areas and lab areas as refernce, similar to the NFPA wall charts. They may even sell wall charts for them but I have never looked into this. If you do not have room for al of this information, you could use the numbers and letter that are of mos importance. Most labs do not have children prsent so designatiion S:1/2 is really not necessary. SInce most labs already h ave safety protocols you could probably remove all of the S statements and your labels would look like this: Methanol J R Smith 1/14/05 F; T; R11-23/24/25-39/23/24/25 Once people become acclimated to the system, the numbers are fairly easy to remember. The number do nbot go above 70. Fo rmany common chemicals you can find the EU designations for specific chemicals here: http://www.the-ncec.com/cselite/cselite.phtml You have to register to use the site buit it is free. They also offer a publication with the lists and a book to guide how the designations are used and assigned for chemcials that do not have one. If you look at an MSDS from Sigma-Aldrich on their web site you can also find the designations on the MSDSs usualy in section 15 or in on the web site at the bottom of the chemical listing. Example from web site (Methanol): Safety Information Hazard Codes F,T Risk Statements 11-23/24/25-39/23/24/25 Safety Statements 7-16-36/37-45 Or you can use one word or two word desinations as to the primary hazard(s). We use small labels for our reference standards and our lables look similar to this. Acetaminophen 123456-10 Solvent: 1.2 mL Methanol Conc. 1.0 mg/mL Storgae: Refrigerate Flammable, Poison The drawback to the EU method is educating everyone to use it, even though it is REALLY simple. Each number goes with a safety phrase. R23 Toxic by inhalation R24 Toxic in contact with skin R25 Toxic if swallowed. A combination of numbers combines the phrases R23/24/25 Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed I think each sheet of statement Risk and Safety are only 1-2 pages for each. There are ~ 10 letter designations and they are really variations on each other. T+ + Very toxic T= Toxic E= Explosive C= Corrosive Xn- Harmful Xi- Irritant N-= Dangerous for the environment. You get the idea. I apologize if you already are aware of this system but if not it is an estabished system and one that provides a lot of imfoamtion in a brief manner.
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