From: Samuella Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**appstate.edu>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] "Read the SDS"
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:59:12 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 673baa28-a5df-b4ce-8083-6a1ca3033c48**At_Symbol_Here**appstate.edu
In-Reply-To


Hi Mary Beth -

This is something that I have been thinking about for the last year or so. Teaching students how to read an SDS is not a trivial task. I do offer some exercises that instructors can use and some competencies needed by students to read SDSs in a JCHAS article that is out in press online right now. The article is tied to the information special issue.

I really like the idea of doing a comparison exercise with the names removed! Thanks for that idea, I will add this to my classes.
Sammye

On 4/11/2018 8:44 AM, Mary Beth Mulcahy wrote:
[M]SDSs have piqued my interest since I took my first HAZWOPER course. I remember wondering during that course how I managed to get a PhD in chemistry without ever learning how to read an MSDS--I didn't know what the NFPA diamond was or what IDLH stood for. So, my question to all of you in the classroom, how do you teach your students to read/interpret an SDS?

This morning I looked up the SDS for NaCl and H2SO4. Looking at the two of them side-by-side, I think even a novice could clearly differentiate that sulfuric acid is more hazardous than table salt based on the SDSs. If though the novice did not have the SDSs to compare and you took the name off of the SDS, I wonder how a novice would interpret the hazards of table salt. For example, the SDS for NaCl that I am looking for exposure guidelines states "This product does not contain any hazardous materials with occupational exposure limits established by the region specific regulatory bodies," and then under Other International Regulations states "Mexico Grade-Severe risk, Grade 4." How does a novice interpret that? Do you teach your students the limitations of regulatory-based exposure limits? Do you teach them about Mexico Grades? Do you focus on the NFPA diamond?

I would hope that after reading the SDS for table salt that a novice woudl feel comfortable using the chemical, but I'm not sure they would if you removed the name of the chemical from it. Anyone out there ever handed out a sodium chloride SDS in an intro chem class (with the name of the chemical removed) and asked the students if they would feel comfortable using it?

Mary Beth Mulcahy

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We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jire?ek (1854 ?? 1918)

Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**appstate.edu

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