ACTED - Chemicals in Australia

Information sources for management of chemicals

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This section lists some sources of information by topic as reelvant to the preparation of the Material Safety Data Sheet and general health and safety management and information provision.

Dangerous goods/transport

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code). Federal Office of Road Safety. AGPS, Canberra.

Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Substances. Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories, AGPS, Canberra.


Official Journal of the European Communities, no.s L180 and L196, EEC Council Directives 91/325/EEC and 67/548/EEC.


International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code; Australian Supplement. AGPS Canberra.


- Dangerous Goods Regulations. International Air Transport Association, Quebec Canada.

- Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. International Civil Aviation Organisation, Montreal.

Transport & Storage

National Standard for the Storage and Handling of Dangerous Goods, Worksafe Australia, AGPS, Canberra (in draft).

Industrial Trucks, Glossary of Terms; AS 1763

Emergency Procedure Guides - Transport. AS 1678 (AS 2931-1987 for their selection and use).

Vehicle fire EPG. AS 1678

Safe Storage and Handling Information Cards for Hazardous Materials; AS 2508.

Switch Loading and Unsafe Practices in Loading Vehicles with Flammable & Combustible Liuids. Victorian Occupational Health & Safety Alerts.

Chemical properties

Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. Sax and Lewis.Van Nostrand Reinhold, USA.

Hazardous Chemicals Data Book. G. Weiss Noyes Publications, NJ USA.

The Condensed Chemical Dictionary. G Hawley, Van Nostrand Reinhold, USA.

Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. The Chemical Rubber Company, USA.

The Merck Index. Merck and Company USA.

Chemical Hazards of the Workplace. N. Proctor and J. Hughes, Lipincott Co. NY, USA.

Guidelines on Chemical Hazards, ACTU/THC Occupational Health and Safety Bulletin Number 16 (June 1982).

Hazardous Substances: A Reference. M Berger, Enslow Publishers, USA.

Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals. OECD, Paris 1981.

Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens. M Sittig, Noyes Publications, NJ USA.

Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. NIOSH (publication 81-123).

Patty's Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology. Edited by Clayton and Clayton (ISBN 0-471-54727). John Wiley and Sons.

Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (publication 85-114) NIOSH/OSHA. US Government Printing Office, Washington.

Sigma-Aldrich Library of Chemical Safety Data. R Lenga. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, USA.

Hazards in the Chemical Laboratory, edited by L. Bretherick.

Handbook of Poisoning - Dreisbach.

Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) (publication 81-116). NIOSH. US Government Printing Office.

Carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens.

- National Toxicology Program - Annual Reports on Carcinogens. US Department of Health and Human Services.

- IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lyon France.

- Catalogue of Teratogenic Agents. John Hopkins University Press, USA.

- Chemical Induced Birth Defects. J Schardein, M Dekker, NY, USA.

- A Guide to the Classification of Carcinogens, Mutagens and Teratogens under the Sixth Amendment. European Chemical Industry Ecology and Toxicology Centre, Report 21, Brussels, 1986.


Worksafe drafts

. National Code of Practice for the Control of Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances in the Workplace.

. National Models Regulations to Control Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances in the Workplace.

. Preliminary Schedule of Carcinogens



List of Designated Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:10005 (1994)].

Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environments .

- Guidance Note [NOHSC:3008(1991)]

- National Exposure Standards [NOHSC:1003(1991)]

Guides on specific chemicals

Arsenic and Arsine [NOHSC:5011(1989)]

Cyanide Poisoning [NOHSC:5009(1993)]

Hydrogen Fluoride [NOHSC:5001(1989)]

Isocyanates [NOHSC:5012(1990)]

Organic solvents [NOHSC:5014(1990)]

Code of Practice for the safe use of;

Vinyl chloride [NOHSC:2004(1994)]

Chemical Gazette

for reports as required by the National Industrial Chemical (Notification and Assessment) Act.


Hazard Alerts.

Glycol Ethers




Names of chemicals

Pesticides, Synonyms and Chemical Names. NHMRC, Canberra.

Recommended Common Names for Pesticides. AS 1719


National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances [NOHSC:2012 (1994)].Worksafe Australia, AGPS Canberra.

Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons. National Health and Medical Research Coucil, AGPS Canberra

Code of Practice for Labelling Agricultural Chemical Products. Australian Agricultural and Veterinery Chemicals Council.

Code of Practice for Labelling Veterinery Chemical Products. Australian Agricultural and Veterinery Chemicals Council.

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code). Federal Office of Road Safety. AGPS.

Legislative and codes

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code). Federal Office of Road Safety. AGPS, Canberra.

Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (also known as the Poisons Schedule). NHMRC Canberra.

Classification, Hazard Identifcation and Information Systems for Dangerous Goods. AS 1216. Standards Australia.

- Classification and Class Labels for Dangeorus Goods

- Hazchem Emergency Action code

- NFPA Hazard Identification System

- UN Substance Identification Numbers

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code). Federal Office of Road Safety. AGPS, Canberra.

Other references

CCH Australia Limited The CCH Occupational Helath & Safety Laws in Australia.

The CCH Occupational Health & Safety Glossary.

Planning Occupational Safety & Health.


Guidance Note for the Assessment of Health Risks Arising from the Use of Hazardous Substances in the Workplace [NOHSC:3017 (1994)]. Worksafe, AGPS Canberra.

Guidance Note for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances in the Retail Sector [NOHSC:3018(1994)], Worksafe, AGPS, Canberra.


Worksafe Australia Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in the Occupational Environments

- Guidance Note [NOHSC:3008(1991)]

- National Exposure Standards [NOHSC:1003(1991)]

Workplace atmospheres

- Organic vapours AS 2986

- Inspirable dust AS 3640

- Repirable dust AS 2985

Australian Standard Workplace Injury and Disease Recording AS 1885.1, provides for minimum information that should be recorded for the monitoring and analysing of workplace injuries and diseases.

Monitoring Strategies for Toxic Substances, in Environmental Hygiene No. 42. Health and Safety Executive (UK) from HMSO UK.

Methods for the Determination of Hazardous Substances. Health and Safety Executive (UK).

Manual of Analytic Methods. NIOSH Washington, USA.

Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual. NIOSH, Washington, USA.

Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices for 19.. ACGIH, OHIO USA.

Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices for 19.. ACGIH, OHIO USA.

Health Surveilance

Health Surveillance by Routine Procedures, Guidance Note MS 18, Health and Safety Executive, HMSO UK 1981.

Health Assessment for Work - A Guide. Australian College of Occupational Medicine, Melbourne (a brochure).

American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices Handbook. From Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (Victoria). A Pocket Guide is available.

Assessment of Risk by Biological Monitoring. D Gompertz, British Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol 38, 1981.

Laboratory Methods for Biological Monitoring. Health and Safety Executive, HMSO, UK 1985.

First aid

First Aid Manual for Chemical Accidents. MJ Lefevre. Van Nostrand Reinhold. USA.

How to Respond to Hazardous Chemical Spills, ed. W. Unterberg et al. Pollution Technology Review No. 155.

Medical Toxicology: Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Poisoning. M Ellenhorn, Elsevier, NY, USA.


A Practical Guide Towards Cleaner Production, Cleaner Production Package and Cleaner Production Information Kit. Victorian EPA.

Environmental Codes of Practice - a range of topics for some activities. West Australian EPA.


Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. C Klaasen, M Amdur, and J Doull, Macmillan Publishing Company, USA.

Hamilton and Hardy's Industrial Toxicology. A Finkel, A Hamilton and H Hardy, John Wright PSG Inc. USA.

Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety. International Labour Office, Swizerland.

Information Resources and Toxicology. P Wexler, Eseview, NY USA.

Chemicals at Work. ACTU, Melbourne Victoria.

Australian Standards

Legislation often references certain standards and standard tests procedures. The most commonly are Australian Standards (AS) produced by Standards Association of Australia (SAA). These standards covers matters of;


Classification, Hazard Identification and Information Systems for Dangerous Goods AS 1216. Covers class labels, Hazchem, NFPA Hazard Identification System and UN Numbers.

Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment. AS 1319.

Classication of Hazardous Areas. AS 2430.


Clothing for chemicals; D86042 and D86043.

Eye protection; AS 1336 and AS 1337.

Foot protection; AS 2210.

Gloves and mittens; AS 2161.

Head protection; AS 1800 and AS 1801.

Respiratory protective devices; AS 1715 and AS 1716.


Quality systems - Model for quality assurance in. AS ISO 9001., 9002 and 9003.

Safe Working in Confined Spaces. AS 2865

Static Electricity, Control of Undesirable; AS 1020

Code of Practice for the Safe Handling of Cryogenic Fluids; AS 1894

Safe Storage and Handling Information Card (for range of chemicals) AS 2508 series.

Storage & Handling of Corrosive Substances; AS 3780

Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids; AS 1940.

Storage & Handling of Hazardous Materials - Class 5.2 Substances (Organic Peroxides; AS 2714

Storage and Handling of Pesticides; AS 2507

Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases; AS 1596.

Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia; AS 2022.

Safety in Laboratories; AS 2243.

General safety principles (AS 2243.1)

Chemical safety (AS 2243.2)

Microbiology (AS 2243.3)

Ionising radiation (AS 2243.4)

Non-ionising radiation (AS 2243.5)

Mechanical aspects (AS 2243.6)

Electrical aspects (AS 2243.7)

Fume cupboards (AS 2243.8)

Chemical and toxic waste disposal (AS 2243.9)

Chemical Storage (AS 2243.10)

Safe Handling of Cryogenic Fluids, Code of Practice; AS 1894

Approval, Filling, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Cylinders for the Storage and Transport of Compressed Gases; AS 2030.

Emergency Control, Organisation and Procedures for Buildings; AS 3745.


Fire extinguishers;

By type; Water (gas container) AS 1841;

Water (stored pressure) AS 1842;

Foam (gas container) AS 1844 ; Foam (stored pressure) AS 1845;

Powder; AS 1846 ;

Carbon Dioxide; AS 1847;

Halon; AS 1848 ;

Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems AS 4214

Part 1 General requirements for design, installation & commisioning of systems.

Part 2 Inergen (IG-541) Total Flooding Systems.

Classification, Rating and Fire Testing; AS 1850 ;

Methods of Tests for Determining Fire Extinguishing and Inerting Concentrations for Flammable Liquids and Gases; AS 4215.

Maintenance (portable and fire blankets), AS 1851.

Portable Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets - Selection and Location; AS 2444

Fire Hose Reels, AS 1221

Fire Hydrant Installations - System Design; AS 2419

Wheeled Fire Extinguishers; AS 4265.

Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids; AS 1692

Electric Equipment for Explosive Atmosphere - Dust Excluding Ignition Proof (DIP) Enclosure; AS 2236.

Electric Installations - Buildings, Structures and Premises; AS 3000

Measurement & Testing

The International System of Units and its Application. Units of quantity. AS 1000,

Methods for the Determination of the Flashpoint of Flammable Liquids (closed cup). AS 2106,

Methods of Tests for Paints and Related Materials - Non Volatile Content, AS 1580

Workplace Injury and Disease Recording AS 1885.1. Provides for minimum information that should be recorded for the monitoring and analysing of workplace injuries and diseases.


Metal Aerosol Containers - Classification, Filling and Testing AS 2278.

Road Tank Vehicles for Dangerous Goods AS 2809 Parts 1 to 4.

Laboratory Construction; AS 2982

Other Standards are detailed in AS catalogue of publications. Standards Australia can supply; British Standards including; BS 7569 - Recommendations for the packaging of dangerous goods for transport; and BS 6939 - Recommendations for intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) for dangerous goods.


There are many databases of varying detail and relevance to the MSDS. In Australia, there are three prominent ones based on emergency or material safety data sheet information.


Produced by Standards Australia, it is a computer base detailing all Emergency Procedure Guides (AS 1678 and AS 2508) and the Safe Storage and Handling Guides.


Provided by the Australian Chemical Industry Council, is a database prepared by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority for first strike information for emergency services. Australian company information is also provided although most products are of UK or European origin.


An Australian chemical management system that contains manufacturer and supplier MSDS, emergency procedure guides and relevant information to manage chemicals.


A CD ROM (cost US$1650) with about 60 000 of their Material Safety Data Sheets that may be printed. Contact Aldrich Chemicals in the USA on 800 558 9160.

A computer base of their products with CAS register numbers, physical properties is available from Sigma Aldrich tel 02 899 9977.


Constains Australian databases with an emphasis on OHS information including information on the key hazards encountered in the workplace (cost $1000 in 1995).

Will now not include the databases of the:

< US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Technical Information Centre (NIOSHTIC); and

< United States Register of Toxic Effects if Chemical Substances (RTECS).

Material Safety Data Sheets will be included as approved by the manufacturers or importers.

New material to be included in the Disk include:

< List of Designated Hazardous Substances; and as relevant to hazardous substances;

< National Standards

< Codes

< Guidance Notes

< 4 000 bibliographic entries including references with abstracts and key words, some full text providing current outline of occupational health and safety information and research in Australia.

CCINFO by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Comprises;

< CHEMINFO; about 900 MSDS on pure chemicals

< TRADE NAMES; large number of manufacturers' MSDS.


Chembank from SilverPlatter (in Australia from Aldis) which includes;

< RTECS (registry on toxic effects of chemicals by US Inst. for OS&H),

< OHMTADS (US EPA on oil and hazardous materials) and

< CHRIS (US emergency response data).

OHSHROM, from SilverPlatter, includes;

< NIOSH; OH&S information supplied by US NIOSH,

< HSELINE; OH&S information from the UK Health and Safety Executive, and

< CISDOC; produced by the ILO (Geneva) with literature references, hazards and other data.

MEDLINE, also on-line, provides US medicine and toxic effects information.

Computer on-line databases (connection to overseas computer databases), these are extensive, comprehensive and, for the occasional user, expensive. Includes;

< Chemical Abstracts, contains technical information on over 7 million chemicals. Available on INSEARCH-DIALOG and ORBIT.


L On line service assistance on a fee for service basis is available from the National Library of Australia in Canberra and from State libraries and libraries of tertiary institutions. Some of these may also assist with CAS number identification.


Other Literature

Joint Statement on Participating Practices, Confederation of Australian Industry and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Working Together, the National Labour Consultative Council.

ACEL OHS Yearbook.

The International Program for Chemical Safety (WHO) has produced a series of Health and Safety Guides on a range of pure chemicals such as acrolein, acrylonitrile and ammonia.Includes description, use, main routes of exposure, toxic effects, and emergencies such as poisoning, fires, explosions and spills. (Copies may be obtained from Worksafe Australia library tel 02 565 9555).

Most Australian publications are aimed for use in the home or workplace but some useful procedural information for preparing the MSDS is available from;

State government departments responsible for health, safety and agriculture, produce pamphlets on a broad range of topics. For example the Victorian OHSA Information Centre produces Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Alerts.

SUSDP for useful toxicological information (T factors).


Chemlink Pty Ltd ABN 71 007 034 022. Publications 1997. All contents Copyright © 1997. All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Products and companies referred to are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders. URL:

From Guide to Chemicals in Australia Editor Remco Van Santen Published by Chemlink Pty Ltd PO Box 673 West Perth Western Australia 6872 tel +61 9 447 6666 fax +61 (0)8

Commments and suggestions welcomed.

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