MSDS as source of info (Was Re: B-Plus Fix)

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

Answering Amos Brooks, with regard to safety of mixtures of
undisclosed composition, Cliff Berger wrote:
>                                          ...  An MSDS should list
> all ingredients both hazardous and otherwise. It will also explain 
> what treatment is necessary for injuries both internal and external.

The MSDS for any aqueous protein solution, such as a 1 ml vial
containing 1 mg of an antibody or enzyme informs you that toxic
fumes will be evolved if it catches fire, and you must enter the
area only if equipped with proper breathing apparatus.

These documents are generated by computers, probably of the
generation that sent people million dollar gas bills in the
1960s. There is no imaginable emergency in which anyone could,
would or should read through pages of mostly worthless twaddle
before doing anything. Occasionally a useful fact such as a
solubility can be found, but with no authority. For many
secret mixtures the MSDSs explicitly state that the identities
and/or concentrations of ingredients are not given for reasons
of trade secrecy.

Has anyone, anywhere, ever used an MSDS for a purpose other
than complying with regulations? I think we should be told.

John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1

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