From: Monona Rossol <0000030664c37427-dmarc-request**At_Symbol_Here**LISTS.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSCs vs SDSs ?
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:27:47 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 15f6d408a00-c0a-14eca**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <2FBF22FD-B0CB-4C4B-BB47-C0F2EB614CD9**At_Symbol_Here**>

And relying on the SDSs works for chemists.   But be glad the ICSCs and other data bases are out there for those of us condemned to read SDSs written by makers of consumer products.  The companies that make our products range from huge companies whose lawyers work out just how much they can omit from SDSs legally to start-ups of clueless people that may actually be two guys in a garage.  

We need second, third and fourth opinions.  My advice to our people is to only use products for which the manufacturer identifies the ingredients (no proprietary stuff) and then look for information from Sigma, ICSC, or ECHA or any other data base to find out what is actually known about those ingredients. So far I haven't met a technical data base that wasn't useful in some way.

I just taught a seminar at NYCOSH on SDS reading where we did this as a class.  The people who sell chemicals for research have no real incentive to lie.  The people who make commercial products have a host of reasons not to tell the truth.

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062


-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Sent: Mon, Oct 30, 2017 7:52 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSCs vs SDSs ?

> Why were ICSCs developed?
This is a very important question to ask for any chemical safety information source. The International Chemical Safety Cards were developed by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization, with the cooperation of the European Commission starting in the 1980's. They are intended to complement an SDS and specifically have "no legal status."

They are intended to provide information to the user of the chemical rather than addressing the legal aspects of its use. Unfortunately, as with most attempts to map chemical safety information, the resources required to keep up a collection of information are substantial, so there are about 1700 cards available today. So while ICSC's are likely to be useful for the chemicals they cover, their use can be limited in a diverse chemical setting such as a laboratory. Others on the list probably have more experience in using them in a class setting, but for the research setting, I focus on SDS's since they are more reliably available for the chemicals being used there. Similarly databases such as PubChem are able to supply similar information to ICSC's for a broader range of chemicals.

Thanks for asking an interesting question.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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