Thanks to all who have responded thus far. The information is really helpful to a new CHO.
My primary position is college chemistry professor; I am doing the CHO work as an add-on to my teaching duties. In this dual role, I am looking at chemical safety and the (M)SDS requirement as an experienced chemist and as an inexperienced safety officer.
A week ago, I finished an exhaustive look at our chemical inventory and when I matched it to our (M)SDS list, there were lots of holes, mostly from older bottles of compounds. The bottles, labels and contents were still in great shape, but for many, I couldn't locate a physical MSDS, and a quick search online didn't turn up MSDS documents from those manufacturers (some apparently don't exist anymore or have changed their names in corporate reshuffling). It seemed to me as a chemist that a bottle of sodium acetate trihydrate from one company would be identical to one from another, since both are (nominally) pure substances, as we refer to them in general chemistry class. This is the reason I am wondering if in the US, OSHA would accept an MSDS for a compound from a different manufacturer than the one whose bottle we possess. If not, I am facing the prospect of throwing away a rather large amount of stuff.
To summarize, I am hearing from all of you that
- online (M)SDS databases like ChemWatch are acceptable as long as everyone has access all the time, and
- we probably need the (M)SDS from the specific manufacturer whose chemical we have in our possession.
Thanks again for all of the excellent responses.
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