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Last updated January 1, 2014

Material Safety Data Sheets


Compiled by Melissa Kaplan

Cornell University
HealthCanada's Infectious Diseases MSDS
University of Vermont

Alert Issued To Emergency Responders Not To Rely Solely On Material Safety Data Sheets
An alert issued by EPA warns local emergency responders not to rely solely on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) provided or maintained at facilities during a chemical accident. Information about the chemicals involved in an accident is critical to a safe response. Generally responders rely primarily on MSDSs maintained at the facilities. However, MSDSs alone frequently do not provide local responders sufficient information to effectively and safely respond to an accidental release of a chemical. EPA's alert is designed to increase awareness, so that first responders can take proper precautions. The alert identifies additional sources of chemical information that could help prevent the loss of life. MSDSs provide important information on the physical/chemical characteristics and first aid procedures. However, the content of the MSDSs on emergency response procedures, fire and reactive hazards may be insufficient for local responders in an emergency situation. Local officials should recognize the importance of preplanning with facilities in their communities that store or use hazardous materials. Sufficient and correct information regarding chemicals in an accidental release can make the difference between successful emergency response and potential disaster for local responders and the community. The alert is available on EPA's web page at under "What's New". Copies also are available through the EPCRA hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.




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