Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

Safety Data Sheet Online Search 

 Type in the chemical name, manufacturer, and the letters SDS to get your results.  Example: Bleach Clorox SDS

What is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)? 

  • An SDS (formerly known as MSDS) includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.
  • It provides guidance for each specific chemical on things such as:
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • First aid procedures
    • Spill clean-up procedures

Who needs to have SDSs? 

  • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) and Lab Safety Standard (1910.1450) both require that SDSs be readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s).
  • Laboratories, facilities or shops that use chemicals must obtain an SDS that is specific to each chemical used in the workplace.

How do you obtain an SDS? 

  • The most common method is by performing an Internet search.  Most companies have SDSs for the chemicals they sell available on their websites. 
  • You can also contact the manufacturer of the chemical directly and request a copy. 
  • The manufacturer or distributor of hazardous substances is required to provide an SDS for every substance that they distribute with the initial shipment.  Be sure to file and keep these when they are received.

How do you store/maintain SDSs?

  • An SDS for each hazardous chemical used in the department, area or laboratory must be readily available to employees. 
  • They can be managed and stored electronically or by means of paper copies:
    • Electronic:  Once you locate an SDS, you should save a copy to an internal drive folder that all of your employees can access
    • Paper copies should be stored in binders marked “Safety Data Sheets” and be readily available to employees.
  • Make sure a back-up system is in place in case of an emergency that causes electronic documents to be unavailable; e.g., by backing them up on a thumb drive.

Who is responsible for obtaining and maintaining SDSs? 

  • It is the responsibility of departments using the chemical to obtain the necessary SDS for that item.
  • EHS recommends that each department or laboratory that uses chemicals place one person in charge of maintaining the Safety Data Sheets. As a general rule, this will be the same person who is responsible for maintaining your Chemical Inventory in the EHS Assistant system.


  • You must train all employees how to read, understand, and access Safety Data Sheets.

Helpful links:  The links below are additional resources that you may find helpful when searching for SDSs.

EHS Waste Management Program Documents 

  • Program Documents
  • Documents on this site have been collected by the EHS Waste Management Program for chemicals that have gone through this facility over the years.
  • This is not a comprehensive site of all chemicals on campus and is not intended to include the most current SDS.  These documents are historical in nature and include material safety data sheets, product information sheets, technical data sheets or other available documents.
  • The materials provided are on an "as is" basis, and under certain circumstances presents only historical information that the user may need to supplement with other currently available documents to be fully informed. With respect to the information available from this server Web link, The University of Iowa makes no warranty, expressed or implied, of any kind, including fitness for a particular purpose and any such warranties are expressly disclaimed. The University of Iowa assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or damage that may result from the use of such information.