When we receive chemicals or potentially hazardous substances from the manufacturer, they are labeled with all kinds of hazard information. This has not always been true. Until recently there were no laws or guidelines concerning chemical labeling.
We can discover some very important things just by looking at the label of a container of hazardous material. This section will tell you what to expect on a label as it comes from the manufacturer. You must label your containers if you repackage anything that is potentially hazardous. If you find a hazardous material that is not properly labeled, please bring it to the attention of your supervisor or the environmental health and safety office.
When you purchase a new material from a manufacturer or vendor, it comes to you packaged in a primary container. The label on a primary container must be firmly secured to the container and it must have this essential information:
A secondary container is any bottle, jar, or container of any type that is used to repackage a hazardous material. Except for manufacturer’s name and address, the labeling requirements for a secondary container are the same as for the primary container. Be sure to include your own name in place of the manufacturer’s name.
A hazardous material needs no label if it is transferred into a temporary container for immediate use by the person making the transfer. “Immediate” means during the same work shift. However, if the material is to be stored in the container or if it is to be used by someone else, then you must follow the rules for a secondary container.
The rules concerning the labeling of new chemicals that are made in the laboratory are somewhat complicated. If you need more information on this subject, please review Reed College’s hazard communication program or ask the environmental health and safety office.