WARNING LABELS                                              


Information concerning the hazards of substances is also communicated through warning labels attached to containers.  A label is any written, printed, or graphic material displayed on, or affixed to, containers of chemicals. All chemical containers at the University must be labeled according to federal regulations (OSHA).  At a minimum, the label must include:

the contents of the container (i.e., full chemical name(s). [No abbreviations or structural formulas are allowed. Except for small quantities of compounds synthesized in the laboratory. However, these must have labels that will not fall off. Written in permanent ink should be the researcher's name and the chemical or structural formula]
name and address of the manufacturer.
physical and health hazards.

Labels or other forms of hazard warnings, such as tags or placards, provide immediate warning of potential danger.  They are used to warn of a variety of potential physical hazards or health hazards.

Labels in storage shall not be removed or defaced.  If a chemical is transferred to a secondary container, that container must be labeled with the full chemical name(s) and the physical and health hazards.  

Employees and students should not work with any chemical from an unlabeled container.   This labeling requirement does not apply to students assigned unknown chemicals for analysis in the laboratory.  However, hazard information should be provided with all unlabeled chemicals in student laboratories. Additionally, if these unlabeled containers are left unattended, a log book indicating the chemical names should be kept nearby.

Carefully read all the information on the label. 

Special Labeling Requirements

All containers that hold carcinogens, reproductive hazards or acutely toxic agents must be properly labeled concerning the health hazard posed by the chemical.  Most new reagent containers will have the chemical's hazard clearly displayed on the label.   However, older reagents and containers of solutions that are mixed in the laboratory must be properly labeled by the laboratory worker.  The laboratory worker may write the hazard class (e.g., carcinogen, etc.) on the container or use labels available from the Central Stockrooms.

If you have any questions on warning labels contact your supervisor, instructor, or the EHRS Department, or review the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South Forty-third Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 • phone: 215-596-8800 • email: safety@usp.edu