Hazard Identification: Additional Links

In addition to the Safety Data Sheet, use the following links to help you determine if, how, and why a particular chemical is hazardous:


PubChem Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries (LCSS)

OSHA and Minnesota Lists of Hazardous Chemicals
If your chemical is included on one of these lists then you must treat it as a hazardous chemical.  In general these links simply list the chemicals; you must then look elsewhere to find specific information on a chemical’s hazard characteristics.



Minnesota OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits

An employee’s exposure to any substance listed in Table Z-1-A shall not exceed the Time Weighted Average, Short Term Exposure Limit, and Ceiling Limit for that substance.


TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork)
  • TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) is a group of databases covering chemicals and drugs, diseases and the environment, environmental health, occupational safety and health, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and toxicology.  Maintained by The National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Health.

Incompatible Chemicals
  • Partial List of Incompatible Chemicals (Reactive Hazards)
  • EPA Chemical Compatibility Chart
  • NOAA’s Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW) and CAMEO Chemicals are free software programs that you can use to find out about the chemical reactivity of thousands of common hazardous chemicals (Reactivity is the tendency of substances to undergo chemical change, which can result in hazards—such as heat generation or toxic gas byproducts.).
    • Both programs predict possible hazards from mixing chemicals and were initially designed to be used by emergency responders and planners, as well as the chemical industry, to help prevent dangerous chemical incidents.
  • Rapid Guide to Chemical Incompatibilities.  This is an extremely useful alphabetical listing of over 8,500 compounds that describes those chemical combinations that are believed to be dangerously reactive.  Hard copies are located in the Biology & Chemistry stockrooms (RNS 253 and 341), and in the Chemical Hygiene Office (RNS 312).


Rapid Guide to Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace
  • This Pocket Guide is similar to the NIOSH guide in providing the relevant hazard information (PELs, TLVs, chemical & physical properties, health hazards, and a safety profile).  It does not provide personal protection information.
  • Hard copies are located in the Biology & Chemistry stockrooms (RNS 253 and 341), and in the Chemical Hygiene Office (RNS 312.


NIOSH Pocket Guide to Hazardous Chemicals
  • This very useful guide includes chemical name, structure, formula, and CAS number; exposure limits; Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) concentrations; personal protection recommendations; physical description of the substance; chemical and physical properties; incompatibilities; first aid; and health hazards.
  • The Pocket Guide can be viewed online or downloaded at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npg.html.
  • Hard copies are located in the Biology & Chemistry stockrooms, and in the Chemical Hygiene Office.


The Dirty Dozen
According to “Prudent Practices” it is generally recognized that certain substances in research laboratories tend to be responsible for “more than their share of accidents.”  These substances have earned the nickname of the “Dirty Dozen” and are listed below:

  • Organic azides. Explosion hazards, especially with ground glass joints
  • Perchlorate salts of organic, organometallic, & inorganic complexes. Explosion hazards
  • Diethyl ether. Fires (see also Organic Peroxidesj below)
  • Lithium aluminum hydride. Fires on quenching
  • Sodium, potassium. Fires on quenching
  • Potassium metal. Fires on quenching
  • Sodium-benzophenone ketyl still pots. Fires on quenching
  • Palladium on carbon. Fires on removal from the inert atmosphere, especially
    if wet with organic solvent or when contactingcombustible materials such as filter paper
  • Heat. Exothermic reactions causing violent spills on scale-up due to inadequate provision for heat removal
  • Ethers with alpha-hydrogen atom. Dangerous peroxide concentration during distillation; explosion hazards, especially with ground glass joints
  • Carbon monoxide. Toxicity and role in forming nickel tetracarbonyl from steel gas lines and autoclaves
  • Organic peroxides. Sensitivity to shock, sparks, and other forms of accidental detonation; sensitivity to heat, friction, impact, and light, as well as to strong oxidizing and reducing agents
  • Develop your own lab-specific “Dirty Dozen.”  Inappropriate mixing or handling of certain compounds can also produce hazardous toxic gases.  Individual laboratories are encouraged to prepare their own list of additional “Dirty Dozen” substances as part of their laboratory-specific Standard Operating Procedures.