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All containers must be dated and labeled with the chemical constituents and hazard. Labels on original containers must not be removed or defaced until disposal. It is recommended that all chemicals are dated when received, but dating is crucial for compounds which have a specified shelf life, such as those that will form peroxides (e.g. ethyl ether). Failure to label chemicals and waste greatly increases disposal costs. All laboratory personnel who are leaving the University are responsible for identifying and properly disposing of unwanted chemicals and chemical waste prior to their departure.

The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires that commercially labeled hazardous chemicals must identify:

  • the identity of the material
  • known immediate and delayed hazards
  • the name and address of a responsible person from whom information can be obtained if necessary
  • precautionary hazard warnings

OSHA and Florida statute also requires that secondary containers identify chemicals by name and hazard. Chemicals must be properly labeled in English with the exact contents (not simply a formula), should have date of receipt, and if appropriate, expiration date. Chemical waste must be labeled for contents (chemical names) and the words “Hazardous Waste”. EH&S provides hazardous waste labels to laboratories. Contact EH&S 644-0971 or 644-6895 to obtain labels or for information.

Chemical products are labeled by the manufacturer to comply with federal regulations, and must include hazard information if hazardous chemical components exceed a set threshold.  Chemical labels have changed significantly over the years as the regulations have changed.  Recently, a new chemical label format was promoted by the United Nations and is being adopted worldwide to achieve universal chemical hazard labeling for products from all countries.  The new system, the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) comprises changes to chemical labels, Safety Data Sheets and hazard communication training.  Below are listed links to three websites which describe the most common chemical labels that can be observed in FSU laboratories.  The GHS labeled chemicals products are already present in FSU labs, as well as chemical products with labels depicted in the links below:


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