Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 09:09:01 -0600

Author: Jerry DiMarco

Subject: Re: nickel hazard


When trying to interpret MSDSs, it helps to remember that the
information comes not only from industrial health records, but also from
toxicology test data carried out by various research labs or
organizations. Additionally, they are written for industry, not small time
users like us. I would recommend concentrating on the practical
information like "First Aid Measures", Handling and Storage", "Disposal
Considerations", etc. Those sections contain useful guidelines.
Regarding the carcinogen status, the different references are just
the different information sources I referred to above. So for nickel
shot, OSHA apparently has no record of cancer occurrences in those
industries. But IARC's research must have turned up something
different. They reference multiple sources so they can provide
comprehensive information to industrial users. It may seem like overkill
to us, but how else would you provide that information in a credible,
reliable way?


At 5/9/200205:08 PM, you wrote:
>Hi Jerry,
>Thanks for your reply!
>Yep, I checked the MSDS. It does have the most comprehensive safety
>information on substances, which raises a good question I've long had
>about how to read and use the information in the MSDS. Because it is
>complete, reading an MSDS is often like reading the side-effects of a
>medication. For example, read the side effects of aspirin, and you might
>think it a quite dangerous substance, yet we know that it is relatively
>safe for most people. Analogously on the MSDS, consider the following
>potential health effects listed for copper:
>INHALATION: SHORT TERM EXPOSURE: irritation, metal fume fever
>LONG TERM EXPOSURE: metallic taste
>LONG TERM EXPOSURE: no information on significant adverse effects
>EYE CONTACT: SHORT TERM EXPOSURE: irritation, tearing, blurred vision
>LONG TERM EXPOSURE: same as effects reported in short term exposure
>INGESTION: SHORT TERM EXPOSURE: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache
>LONG TERM EXPOSURE: no information on significant adverse effects
>Certainly somebody has had these health effects after handling a piece of
>copper, but I suspect they are rare. So, any words of advice on reading
>and using the information in the MSDS in general?
>Also interesting: there are three references given on all MSDS for
>Carcinogen Status: OSHA, NTP, IARC. Anybody know why?
>For Nickel, OSHA says it is not a carcinogen, but NTP and IARC say it is.