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Office of Research Services
Division of Occupational Health
and Safety
Phone: (301) 496-2960
Fax: (301) 402-0313

ORS breadcrumbDOHS > Laboratory Related Services > Material Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are a very important aspect of both Hazard Communication and Laboratory Standards. SDSs are required to provide employees with the information they need to know about the hazards of materials being handled. It is the policy of the NIH that all employees who are potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals in their assigned jobs shall be fully informed of both the hazardous properties of the chemicals and the protective measures that are available to minimize exposures to these chemicals.

It is the responsibility of the non-laboratory supervisor (e.g., engineering services, animal care areas, administrative areas, housekeeping) to ensure that employees are made aware of the potential hazards associated with chemicals that may be handled or encountered. This includes the availability of chemical specific information, such as contained in a SDS. Please refer to the Hazard Communication Program (HCP) Download Free Adobe Acrobat Reader.. The NIH-HCP complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) This link goes to an external site Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.

The use of potentially hazardous chemicals in laboratories is governed by the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) Download Free Adobe Acrobat Reader.. The laboratory supervisor is responsible for adherence to the NIH-CHP.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health This link goes to an external site (NIOSH) is responsible for conducting research on chemical hazards and providing scientifically valid recommendations for protecting workers.

SDSs can be easily located online. Below are some sources to find applicable SDSs.

Note: NIH has updated language to comply with the Globally Harmonized System This link goes to an external site, however some external sites may use the term SDS interchangeably with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). 

Sigma-Aldrich This link goes to an external site

  • Enter product name in search block.
  • If unable to access product database, press control key then enter (this will reset the pop-up blockers which may be preventing access).
  • If still unable to access product list, contact the Web help desk at (877) 856-5586.

Fisher Scientific This link goes to an external site

  • Enter product name in search block.
  • Select product you need information on.
  • Click on the SDS icon in the "Characteristics" section.

Fisher has a fax on demand system which lets you request safety data sheets (SDSs) for Fisher chemicals and Acros Organic products - faxing the data back to your machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  1. Call (201) 703-3165 Listen to the recorded message and follow the directions.
  2. Have the following information available: The product catalog number. Your fax number.
  3. Enter Information Follow the instructions and enter your request using your touch-tone telephone - enter letters by pressing the corresponding letter on your telephone key pad.
  4. Receive your SDS(s) Your SDS(s) will be faxed promptly to the number you entered in Step 3 - usually with in 30 minutes. If your fax line is busy, the system will redial repeatedly and only terminate the transmission if it cannot get through in those attempts. If you don't receive a response within 30 minutes, place your request again.

Avantor (formerly JT Baker) This link goes to an external site

  • Enter product name in search block.
  • Select product you need information on.
  • Click on view SDS next to product.

Vermont SIRI This link goes to an external site

Once connected, you will be given instructions on how to search the SDS archive. This site also has links to other SDS sites.

Can be searched by manufacturer or chemical, and has extensive health and safety links.

New Jersey Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets This link goes to an external site

More than 1,600 Fact Sheets have been completed and more than 900 have been translated into Spanish. The Fact Sheets are prepared on pure substances and contain information on health hazards, exposure limits, personal protective equipment, proper handling, first aid, and emergency procedures for fires and spills.

National Library of Medicine, TOXNET This link goes to an external site

Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.