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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 early 1990's in response to a recommendation by the Department of Chemistry chair. 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 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 Library and a variety of web and other electronic resources in chemical safety. 

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 Reference and Emergency Response Guide
    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

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Andrea Twiss-Brooks
Director, Humanities and Area Studies
Chemistry and
Geophysical Sciences

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