I'm working with some chemical librarians and chemical information professionals to develop strategies for searching electronic information resources (i.e. the web) for chemical safety information. To help with these discussions, we'd like to come up with ten or so fairly specific questions that EHS people might be called upon to research to support lab workers in their safety efforts.. Examples of such questions appear on this list relatively frequently, can include inquiries such as
- "I am looking for a safer alternative to Piranha etch that would work but wouldn't have the hazards associated with Piranha"
- "Are any of you running building traps on your house vacuum systems?"
- "I've had a request for an ammonia detector for the animal room in Biology. Does anyone have any recommendations?"
- "Someone asked me how large of a spill they could clean up themselves without calling our internal emergency spill team. Let's assume it is something nasty like methylene chloride or benzene. Is there a good rule of thumb for how large of a spill (outside a hood) can be cleaned up safely?"
If you assume that you're on a campus that doesn't have an EHS staff, or just decide as a lab person to google your way to answer, what web resources would you as an EHS person consider reliable in providing information to these kinds of questions and what keywords would you use to find answers?
One resource we've already looked at is the MSDS glossary at
which has a lot of useful keywords, as well as what they call "Useless MSDS Abbreviations". We're interesting in keywords that might not be on that list.
Or if you've had an interesting question like this come up recently, just the question itself would be an interesting addition to our discussions.
Thanks for any help with this.
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society
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