Chemical Safety & Hazard

Chemical Safety

Towson's Chemical Safety program aims to minimize the occupational and environmental exposure of hazardous materials used on campus. We provide departments with recommendations on proper laboratory safety (PDF) and chemical hygiene, chemical storage guidelines (PDF) and chemical container labeling requirements (PDF). We also offer safety procedures for departments using compressed gas cylinders (PDF), mercury (PDF) and ethidium bromide (PDF). We also offer dedicated lab safety and chemical hygiene training programs.

Report chemical spills to EHS immediately. We will follow up on chemical spills to ensure they're managed properly.

Vertere Chemical Information List Database

Towson uses the Vertere Chemical Information List Database to track all containers which fall within the OSHA criteria of hazardous chemicals. The database is used to identify the chemical or product name containing hazardous chemicals and the location of the containers. Once entered, chemicals are tracked by a unique barcode number.

There are two Vertere databases on the Towson server. The developmental/practice database can be used for training or testing the system. The production database  is the university's certified database, and should only be accessed to add, remove and track real inventory items. A login and password are required to access the databases. Complete the chemical database assistance form (available on our forms directory) for help troubleshooting problems within the database or to request access to the database.

Hazardous Waste

We maintain careful hazardous waste management procedures (PDF) to minimize exposure to hazardous materials on campus. Our dedicated electronics recycling program (PDF), battery recycling program (PDF) and light bulb recycling program (PDF) help to minimize waste and exposure.

Individuals who handle hazardous waste on campus are required to take hazardous waste generator training. You can register for training and see the training prerequisites online.

Hazard Communication (Right-to-Know)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) outline employees' right to know about potential health risks in the workplace This includes information on protective equipment and clothing and the proper procedures for handling and storing chemicals and chemical products. As part of our Hazard Communication Program (PDF), we offer online and in-person training to help employees learn proper procedures, as well as their rights and resources, in the hopes of keeping them safe on the job.

Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 410-704-2949 or to sign up for the online training course. In addition to the course, you will need to review information on the hazard communication/right-to-know process, Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and personal protective equipment (PDF) as well as our smoking prohibition (PDF). After you have passed the online training course and reviewed the programs, complete the right-to-know verification form and submit it to EHS with the training certification sign-in sheet.

As an alternative, you can also sign up for in-person hazard communication training.

Material Safety Data Sheets

Always check with the manufacturer first for material safety data sheets (MSDS). If you cannot contact the manufacturer, you may be able to access MSDS via the ChemWatch website, which Towson subscribes to.  You must log in using a Towson IP address.  You can also search for MSDS via the resources below.

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