View Full Version : MSDS - are Material Safety Data Sheets required for items on display?

T. Ashley McGrew
02-27-2012, 09:57 AM
This was the basic question posted recently on the RCAAM List. As most of us are all too aware, in most museums these days we are required to acquire Material Data Safety Sheets on all of the materials and products that we use and keep in our buildings. In addition they must be kept readily accessible to assist first responders in accessing risks to the public and themselves in the event of an emergency. The regulations may vary depending on local ordinance but generally these need to reflect the material/products location within the facility.Makes sense. We are used to dealing with this in workshops storage areas etc... but what about exhibitions materials in the galleries? Julia was kind enough to let me post her response here.
Thanks Julia!

From: Julia Clark
Sent: Fri, February 24, 2012 1:13:16 PM
Subject: Re: [RCAAM] Material Safty Data Sheets for exhibitions?


There is a remarkably easy way to be in compliance regarding MSDS sheets. If you have a computer with internet access that is on and hooked up to the internet at all times (within reason), you can use the website, http://hazard.com/, as your source for MSDS data. I should qualify this with the fact that in our state (Maine) this is an acceptable way to meet OSHA requirements, but you should be able to talk with your local fire department or HAZMAT response team to see if this is also true in Indiana. Also, the requirements in Maine for MSDS sheets is that you need to have one for any potentially hazardous material that is present in greater than household quantities. So if you have lots of small amounts, many of those items may be technically exempt (but you still may want to be aware of potential hazards). And if it turns out you do need printed copies, you may be able to find most of what you need on the same web site.

http://us.mg204.mail.yahoo.com/ya/download?mid=1_8925465_AGMIw0MAABVgT0uGFw67vWFHNBQ&pid=2.3&fid=Inbox&inline=1&appid=YahooMailRC (http://abbemuseum.org/)J
Julia Clark
Curator of Collections
26 Mount Desert Street
PO Box 286
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

PS. Don't forget to include and clearly label items that are not in original containers (glass cleaners, Plex cleaner, or small containers of transferred solvents).