From: Paul Dover <Paul.Dover**At_Symbol_Here**MONASH.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] (M)SDS access
Date: May 28, 2013 11:05:51 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <c122a8c1bbcd4ef3b7d0da103b83e5de**At_Symbol_Here**VPRK-CASHUB-01.vcp.local>

Again in Australia, we have a requirement for the MSDS to be less than 5 years old. As was pointed out it is the manufacturers responsibility to provide the MSDS that fulfils this requirement.

Part of what ChemWatch say they do (and I think I have caught them out on a few occasions) is to keep their database current, so the MSDS you call up is the most current.


I remember when I started here I was shown our ‘treasure trove’ of old chemicals and was set to throw most out (as microbiologist/biochemist landing in a pure chemistry area). My HOD pointed out the cost of replacing these, that most would still be perfectly usable and would be analysed for purity and functionally before use.

He did agree to a thorough sorting and discarding of any damaged or suspect bottles (and the obvious old bottle of picric acid!). I appreciate the value of this asset now.


I’m afraid for us a lot comes down to the auditor. Most agree an MSDS from a different manufacturer or >5 years old is better than no MSDS, but for us legally that falls to the manufacturer. If they do not supply a current MSDS for a product they supply when requested  they are the ones responsible.


Hope that helps, Paul



Paul Dover
Resources Manager (Medicinal Chemistry)

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University (Parkville Campus)
381 Royal Parade, Parkville
Victoria 3052, Australia


Tel: Int + 61 3 9903 9551

Fax: Int + 61 3 9903 9143

E-mail: paul.dover**At_Symbol_Here**


From: DCHAS-L Discussion ListOn Behalf OfStrode, Kyle
Sent: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 8:42:32 AM (UTC+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] (M)SDS access

For every excellent answer and piece of helpful information, I generate another question.  Here is my next one:


I’ve just finished a comprehensive bottle-by-bottle inventory of everything we have on the shelf.  I’ve culled lots of old bottles and readied them for hazardous waste disposal.


However, I have oldish bottles of chemicals that are still in good shape and are still being used.  I DO have copies of the MSDS for many of these chemicals. I am planning to scan these into electronic format for our growing database. However, what happens when we switch fully to SDS?


1.       Is the old scanned MSDS good enough? I’m assuming it is not and I must switch fully to SDS.

2.       Assuming (as Rob points out below in the link) that I need an MSDS for the chemical from the specific manufacturer I have on the shelf, will I be able to find a new SDS for that specific bottle?

3.       If the answer to #2 is no, do I need to plan to dispose of any bottles for which I can’t find  an SDS?

4.       Will an online SDS subscription service cover me and my institution even if they don’t provide an SDS that is specific to the manufacturer (assuming they have a general one)?


I’d be very grateful for any help with this.


I’d also be grateful for wisdom from those of you out there who are in the process of figuring out what to do with your inventory of aging chemicals in light of the switch to the SDS system.  Are others among you facing the prospect of disposing of large numbers of chemicals that are still usable because you lack the MSDS or you may in the future lack the SDS?


Kyle Strode


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of ILPI Support
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] (M)SDS access


Forgot to add this MSDS FAQ entry in my earlier reply.  It goes right to this issue:


Rob Toreki



Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names

you know and trust.  Visit us at

esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412

Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012


On May 24, 2013, at 10:13 AM, "Strode, Kyle" <strode**At_Symbol_Here**CARROLL.EDU> wrote:


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.


Kyle Strode



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