Yes, assigning hazards for novel compounds can be tricky. OSHA does not require you to test the properties of novel chemicals, but you do need to “consider the full range of available scientific literature and other evidence concerning the potential hazards.” So make sure you do a thorough literature search.
The researcher who synthesized the compound can be an excellent source of information. Ask the researcher about the purpose for the synthesis, and what properties they hope the new compound will exhibit.. The researcher may also have some basic information such as melting point, color, odor, etc.
What do others do to assess, predict and assign an OSHA 2012 health hazard classification to a newly synthesize compound develop by your home institution when you are required to develop a SDS?
I'm not so concerned about assessing the hazards of mixtures of known chemicals but concerned more about new compounds, where the new compound has no history of a health hazard evaluation and where using the precursor chemicals is not as reliable predictor of its health hazards/toxicity.
Does anyone use a toxicologist to review the chemical structure of the new compound to predict and present their "best judgment" regarding the health hazard classifications?
Steve Rupkey, CIH
Argonne National Laboratory
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