On Monday, June 02, 2014 Monique Wilhelm said to the DCHAS-L Discussion List, in part:
>Previously, they would teach them MSDSs, but local industry doesnČ??t care about SDSs
>and want more of the others for lab workers, which makes sense as the MSDSs are written for responders.)
>to determine chemical hazards and signs of exposureČ?|
Any SDS (MSDS) that is written primarily for responders is improperly written. Now, many will agree that a good many SDS are improperly written, and some parts of the SDS are for first responders, but that is no reason to throw them out entirely as a lab tool.
The SDS is the second major source of information about the material they describe, after the label on the bottle. It should have information that can be applied to preparation for use and prevention of excessive exposure, as well as thoughts about what can go wrong and how to deal with that before the first responders arrive. It won't have everything, but students should understand how these documents are structured and how to extract useful information from them, as well as how to recognize the ones that are junk. (I hope the fraction that is junk will be reduced as Hazcom 2012 comes further into effect.)
If your local industries really don't care about SDSs, then they have only one or two hazardous materials and are sharing information with their employees in some other way, or they are misguided and possibly headed for a bureaucratic fall with OSHA.
Peter Zavon, CIH
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