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Chemical Safety

Resources available from the University of Chicago Library on chemical safety, hazardous materials handling, and toxicology.

About this guide

The University of Chicago Library chemical safety collection was created in the former Chemistry Library during the early 1990's in response to a recommendation by Jack Halpern, then Chair of the Chemistry Library Committee. The collection was designed to provide chemical safety information for laboratory workers, primarily in the Chemistry Department. Encouragement of good safety practices to help prevent injuries and property damage remains a priority of the Department of Chemistry and for the University. Federal regulations, primarily the OSHA Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450), also require that academic institutions provide information concerning 1) the handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals, 2) the right of the individual worker to know the hazards of chemicals in the workplace, and 3) the development of an institutional chemical hygiene plan. The University of Chicago Library continues to support safety practices by maintaining the safety collection through regular purchases both of titles in new areas and updates of standard reference works, as well as access to web resources with safety information..

The Library's collections of titles include books and other materials that provide useful and accurate information about various aspects of chemical safety. This bibliography lists both relevant titles in the John Crerar Library and a variety of web and other electronic resources in chemical safety. Call numbers and library collections/locations are included the bibliography. Most of the book materials are in reference collections and do not circulate. Video materials may be borrowed for use in classrooms, laboratories, etc. for training purposes.

All University employees and students have access to these library collections during normal services hours; consult the University of Chicago Library Schedule of Hours for details. A valid Library ID card is necessary for access to The John Crerar Library stacks at all times and to the building itself after 5:00 p.m. daily. Interested users of this bibliography from outside the University of Chicago should feel free to consult the Chemistry Librarian for further information regarding the safety collection.

Chemical Safety and First Responder Tools

  • Chemical Compatiblity Database (Cole-Parmer)
    Want to know if you can use polypropylene gloves to handle acetone?  This app provides compatiblity information for combinations of materials (e.g., containers, protective clothing options) and common chemicals.
    iPad/iPhone compatible

  • Chemical Safety Data Sheets
    Search by chemical name or CAS RN or RTECS number
    Information on fire/explosive hazards and first aid/firefighter response method; eye/skin/ingestion exposure symptoms and first aid treatment; spill response, storage and packaging; physical properties, etc.  Based on International Chemical Safety Cards by IPCS Review committee
    iPad/iPhone compatible

    This National Library of Medicine resource is available for download as a standalone application or via WebWISER.  Provides identification, equipment considerations, protective measures, fire procedures, reactivities, first aid treatment and other information for commonly encountered chemicals
    Windows Mobile devices, Palm OS PDAs, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, BlackBerry devices, Microsoft Windows PCs

  • HazMat
    On the back and side of every truck or train carrying hazardous material is a diamond shaped placard with a 4 digit code. HazMat will allow you to translate that code to the name of the substance transported and provides first responder information in plain English.
    iPad/iPhone compatible

Subject Specialist

Andrea Twiss-Brooks

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Crerar Library Room 132

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