Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Material Safety Datasheets

Material Safety Data Sheets

(MSDS) are references prepared by chemical product manufacturers to inform the end users of the hazards associated with these products and to advise users of appropriate precautions. Centralized paper collections of Material Safety Data Sheets for commercial chemical products are available in the Martin Science Library (behind the main desk), and the Environmental Health & Safety Office (Facilities & Operations Building, 2nd Floor) 415 Harrisburg Ave.

Centralized paper collections of MSDSs for laboratory chemicals are available in the Environmental Health & Safety Office and, with the exception of Sigma/Aldrich chemicals, are available in the Martin Science Library (behind the main desk), the Biology Department's Stock Room (Fackenthal 16), and the Chemistry Department's Computer Workroom (Hackman P302). Access to Sigma/Aldrich MSDSs is also provided to members of the F&M community through the campus AppleShare Network.

Links to sources of Material Safety Data Sheets off-campus can be found below. If you need help obtaining or interpreting an MSDS, contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office at the E-mail address given at the end of this page.


Comprehensive Starting Points

Safety Information Resources on the Internet. SIRI offers an extensive and well designed, searchable database for more than 100,000 Material Safety Data Sheets of both commercial chemical products and laboratory chemicals. The alphabetical index at the top of the page takes you to lists of manufacturers, with links to their site, and brief instructions for locating MSDSs with-in the site.


If you find this site unavailable, try the archival site listed below:

The Cornell University, PDC maintained MSDS Collection. The ~250,000 MSDS files of both commercial chemical products and laboratory chemicals contained in this database are derived from:

  • The U.S. Government Department of Defense MSDS database.
  • A mirror of data from the SIRI MSDS collection described above, and
  • MSDS sheets maintained by Cornell University Environmental Health and Safety, and other Cornell departments.

Commercial Chemical Products

Xerox Corporation. MSDS's on Xerox products can be searched by four criteria, but the most useful will likely be the trade name or product name of the machine containing the material (e.g. 5312, or, DocuColor 40). Also try their Environmental, Health and Safety site.


The Irrigation & Green Industry Network (a division of ISG Communications, Inc.) maintains a database of various categories of lawn and garden chemical products. These include fertilizers, fumigants, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, miticides, and plant growth regulators. Listed by brand names, many include the label and MSDS, in pdf format. (To view these, you must have Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

Laboratory Chemicals 

Fisher Scientific and Acros Organics MSDSs. On the Fisher home page, follow the MSDS icon to the following instructions. (The pages on Fisher's site are dynamically generated. As a result, the apparent links below cannot be made active. They are, of course, active on the site.)

Material Safety Data Sheets for Fisher manufactured chemicals can be retrieved from the chemical product page. If an MSDS is available, an icon (shown right) will be posted beneath the ordering information. Select this icon to display its MSDS and then choose the Print option from your browser to print a copy.

To begin, select the Fisher Chemical Catalog or Acros Organics Catalog icon in the Catalogs section and browse through the alphabetical tabbed listing for the chemical name. Chemical product names appear in the same sequence as in the print catalog. Once you have determined the chemical product, click the hyper-linked name to display product and ordering information. The MSDS icon will be accessible below the ordering chart.

Or, use the Power Search option to initiate a full chemical product search using the item's name, molecular formula, chemical synonym, or CAS number. Then, select a specific product from the group of results to display product and ordering information. The MSDS icon will be accessible below the ordering chart.

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Messer - MG Industries. Point your mouse to "Technical Resources" in the sidebar on the left. Click "MSDS" in the pop-out menu. Material Safety Data Sheets for 200 plus pure gases and gas mixtures produced by the company, selected using a scroll-down menu.

Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries LCSS's (by way of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute). Link to a site that provides information for 88 common, or especially hazardous chemicals. These summaries are similar to MSDSs, but have been prepared in accordance with the approach to experiment planning and risk assessment outlined in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, National Research Council, 1995.


Sigma/Aldrich MSDS's. Note: You must register to see any substantive information on this site, including product descriptions and prices! After registering/logging in you will be returned to the home page. On the left is a pull-down menu under the words, "What may we do for you today?" Select "Find an MSDS or CofA (Certificate of Analysis)."


The new page that appears is the Search Center. You may search by Chemical Name, Molecular Formula, Product (Catalog) Number, CAS# (Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number), and Substructure. For more information, see the full description of this site, detailing the use of these search types, and how to browse by Brand and Area of Interest.

Lists of Free, Manufacturer, and Commercial MSDS Websites

An extensive and up to date list of MSDS websites, originally maintained by the University of Kentucky, has expanded to include a glossary, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and the MS-Demystifier.