Q:

What information is typically on a chemical label?

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Quick Answer

The information on a chemical label that is legally required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States includes the product identifier code, the supplier identification, precautionary statements, signal words, hazard statements and hazard pictograms. Supplemental information can be included as the manufacturer wishes. The common name of the chemical should also be included but is not required by law.

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Full Answer

The product identifier code is a universal code identifying the specific chemical and is the same regardless of the supplier. The supplier identification information has to including the company name, address and telephone number. Precautionary statements must include information about personal protective equipment, or PPE, proper chemical storage and disposal, first aid, and instructions about fire safety. The signal word must be either "Danger" or "Warning." The hazard pictograms have to be from a set of nine possibilities, which is provided by OSHA. These indicate hazards such as flammability, carcinogenicity, and gas under pressure, to name a few. Hazard statements should specify exactly what particular hazard the specific chemical causes.

Some examples of supplemental information that are not required by law include directions for chemical use and the manufacture and expiration dates. Information about chemical purity can also be included.

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