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Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Material Safety Data Sheets

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a document providing information about a chemical or product. It explains the item's characteristics (for example, the color, scent, pH), hazards, precautions for safe handling, first aid procedures and emergency response measures. MSDSs help faculty and students work safely with chemicals; therefore, the proper MSDS should always be read before using any chemical for the first time. Augustana is required by OSHA to provide this information to employees and students of the College.

Augustana College, through EHS, maintains a collection of 10,000 - 11,000 MSDSs. Most are viewable online as scanned documents (pdf files). Every member of the Augustana community can retrieve, read and print these files from any computer with access to the AugieNet system and Adobe Acrobat software. A sample MSDS can be found here if you need additional help reading MSDSs.

The MSDS collection compliments training provided in our Hazard Communication program. EHS is also available to assist you in finding MSDSs that are not available on-line, interpreting an MSDS, and discussing possible health effects or hazards associated with your job.

The MSDS database is constantly being updated. If you don't have an MSDS for a chemical you currently use, and it is also missing from the collection, contact EHS. We'll help locate something appropriate. If your department has MSDSs that are not available in this collection, please forward copies to the EHS office or email them to the Safety Office and we will make them available to the community.

If for any reason the online MSDS database is inaccessible, Augustana College also maintains a complete hardcopy collection of MSDSs in room 101 of the Science Building. This collection should always be accessible. If you require further assistance, contact Kelly Atkins in room 301 of the Science Building, or at x3378.


Note: MSDSs are currently being transferred over into SDSs. In December of 2013, employees will be trained on how to read GHS formatted labels and SDSs. By June of 2015, the majority of the MSDS library will be SDSs. Then, on June 1st of 2016, full compliance with the new GHS formatting will be required. By this time, our library will be completely converted to contain all SDSs. 

Further SDS Information:
GHS Adoption Timeline
Description of SDS Contents