Chemical Hygiene

Find a Chemical on Campus

Chemical Requisition FormPDF versionText only version  New (requires Adobe Reader)

The EHS Department operates the Chemical Storage and Distribution Facility (CSDF) as a service to the entire institution to achieve the following goals:

  • Prevent pollution through waste minimization by facilitating the recycling of obsolete and surplus chemicals.
  • Minimize the quantities of hazardous materials stored in occupied buildings by providing safe centralized storage of chemicals not in immediate use.
  • Reduce chemical procurement costs through centralized chemical purchasing for the institution.
  • Maintain an inventory of commonly used chemicals for prompt distribution.
  • Receive, inspect and prepare all hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials before distribution to other campus locations.
  • Provide health and safety information to end users of chemicals.
  • Maintain a computer database of chemicals on campus to provide:
    • Inventory available for teaching and research activities
    • Data for community right-to-know reports
    • Information about compliance with building and fire codes

Procurement of Chemicals and Radioactive Materials.

Chemicals and radioactive materials are ordered, received and distributed by EHS through the CSDF. Requests for chemicals are submitted to EHS using the Chemical Requisition Form. Forms are available in most departmental offices, at the CSDF (Coolbaugh Hall, Room 030), or you may download a form using one of the above links.

Storage of Chemicals at the CSDF.

The inventory of chemicals maintained at the CSDF is available to all CSM departments. The stock items purchased by EHS are offered at our cost. Most other materials (surplus and recycled) are available at no charge to requestors.

Distribution of Chemicals and Radioactive Materials.

All hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials delivered to the institution are processed through the CSDF. EHS personnel inspect, unpackage, and label containers. Pertinent information is stored in a computer database. Requestors are notified and arrangements are made for pickup or delivery. EHS delivers orders that cannot be safely hand-carried to destinations. Other orders may be delivered when trained EHS personnel are available.

What is an MSDS?

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provides you with information about substances that you may handle in your lab or work area. This information includes chemical and physical properties, health effects, fire/explosion data, reactivity, handling, storage, and personal protective equipment. Every hazardous material should have an associated MSDS. The MSDS should be consulted before you begin your work.

SDS's (Safety Data Sheets) will replace MSDS's in 2015

The United Nations (UN) organization created the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) to standardize chemical safety information and labeling between countries. CSM currently receives chemicals from over 20 different countries. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has mandated that MSDS providers (manufacturers and suppliers) adopt the SDS format for their products by 2015. MSDS's will then be referred to as SDS's. Some suppliers have already made the changes to their documentation. One major difference will be the use of standardized icons representing the various chemical hazard classes.

Where can you get a MSDS?

  • There should be a MSDS/SDS readily available for each chemical at your work site. Ask your supervisor where MSDS's/SDS's are kept for your lab and/or department.
  • The EHS Office maintains some hard copies of MSDS's/SDS's at the Chemical Storage and Distribution Facility located in the lower northeast corner of Coolbaugh Hall, Room 030. Copies may be made at that location.
  • Vendors and manufacturers are required by OSHA regulations to provide a MSDS/SDS for any hazardous products. Call them directly for assistance in obtaining a MSDS/SDS.
  • Many MSDS's are available on the Internet at the vendor's website. When possible, find the specific MSDS that pertains to the specific product offered by the vendor. Be sure to note the product or catalog number when searching for MSDS's/SDS's. Use any search engine to find sites or click here: for generic MSDS's.

Right-to-Know Training for Classified Staff Members (Mandatory)

The EHS Department provides this training annually for classified staff members who handle chemicals in the course of their duties. The presentation includes segments on use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and use of personal protective equipment.

Hazard Communication in Laboratories

OSHA prescribes the implementation of a "Chemical Hygiene Program" for laboratories. A primary component of this program is "Hazard Communication." This means that all personnel should be informed of the properties of hazardous materials in the lab and should be informed of hazards and safety procedures associated with lab equipment and processes.

One of the ways this is done at CSM is by posting MSDSs on a clipboard which is mounted in the hallway outside each lab. Most CSM labs have such clipboards. The CSM Safety Officer checks the accuracy of laboratory MSDS files during annual building inspections. In addition, each time the EHS Department issues a chemical from our Central Storage and Distribution Facility, the recipient is reminded to review the MSDS for the chemical. If the recipient does not have an MSDS, one is provided.