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Material Safety Data Sheets

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs.

The MSDS's are available from many sources such as the chemistry store, health and safety offices, material producing companies etc. This is one of the sources which points to many other sources of MSDS. It also contains information regarding the meaning of all the terms used in MSDS as well as the meaning of the data. For example, you may click see a MSDS for Nerv Gas VX in this link. This site also contains tutorials as to how to read MSDS.

I also suggest that you look up the MSDS's for ethanol, methanol, and ethyl ether and suggest a process of their purifications.

Activities Regarding MSDS

These questions are suggested by Professor Professor Walt Volland Please try to answer them.
What is an MSDS? What use is it?
Why did you pick the substance?
Is it flammable?
What is a carcinogen? Is this substance a carcinogen?
What symptoms are displayed by a person when exposed to high levels of this substance?
What should be done if a person shows the symptoms of overexposure?
What are two common paths of entry into the body?
What is the LD50, the lethal dose that will be fatal for 50% of the population?
What is the URL for the source of your information?
Do you have this substance in any consumer product in your living quarters? What is the product?
Do you have this substance in any consumer product in your living quarters? What is the product?
Do you know of any product that contains this substance? What is the product?
How would you clean up a spill of this substance?
Work as a team to write specifics for the following using a MSDS for one substance that interest you.
  1. prevention
  2. safety engineering
  3. cause determination/accident investigation
  4. neighbors downwind
  5. firefighters/emergency personnel

Reading Material

Example 1


dE = 99 (J/min) * 60 (min/hr) = 5940 J / hr


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