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Labeling Chemicals and Chemical Containers

No unlabeled substance should be present in the laboratory at any time!

Labeling Basics

  • Use labels with good adhesive.
  • Use a permanent marker (waterproof and fade resistant) or laser (not inkjet) printer. Print clearly and visibly.
  • Replace damaged, faded or semi-attached labels.

Commercially Packaged Chemicals

Verify that the label contains the following information:

  • Chemical name (as it appears on the MSDS)
  • Name of chemical manufacturer
  • Necessary handling and hazard information

Add:

  • Date received
  • Date first opened
  • Expiration or "use by" date (if one is not present)

Secondary Containers and Prepared Solutions

When one transfers a material from the original manufacturer’s container to other vessels, these vessels are referred to as "secondary containers."

Label all containers used for storage with the following:

  • Chemical name (as it appears on the MSDS)
  • Name of the chemical manufacturer or person who prepared the solution
  • Necessary handling and hazard information
  • Concentration or purity
  • Date prepared
  • Expiration or "use by" date

Containers in Immediate Use

These chemicals are to be used within a work shift or laboratory session. Label all containers in immediate use with the following:

  • Chemical name (as it appears on the MSDS)
  • Necessary handling and hazard information

Chemical Waste

All containers used for chemical waste should be labeled with:

  • "WASTE" or "HAZARDOUS WASTE"
  • Chemical name (as it appears on the MSDS)
  • Accumulation start date
  • Hazard(s) associated with the chemical waste

Peroxide-Forming Substance

Peroxide-forming chemical must be labeled with:

  • Date received
  • Date first opened
  • Date to be disposed of

NOTE: Some States also require (1) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code (refer to APPENDIX B) and/or (2) CAS number to be listed on the label. Consult the State regulations. This information is from the School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide created by the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Lab Safety Equipment from Carolina

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