Chemical Labeling Policy

Policy Information
Policy TitleChemical Labeling Policy
Responsible OfficeEnvironmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
Policy TypeEnvironmental Health
Policy Number1009
Last Revision Date10/24/2023

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) requires the University to establish a chemical labeling policy.  Because it is the policy of Binghamton University to comply with all Federal, State and local regulations, all containers of hazardous chemicals must be properly labeled in accordance with section 1910.1200(f) of the Hazard Communication Standard.

A hazardous chemical is any chemical or mixture of chemicals having properties capable of producing adverse effects on the health & safety of human beings and/or the environment.  It is University policy that all containers of non-hazardous materials also be labeled when those containers are stored or used around other hazardous materials (e.g., a water bottle in a chemistry lab).

It is the responsibility of all employees to assure that labels are properly attached and legible.  Any labels that are not legible, are degraded, or are missing must be replaced . This is necessary to prevent the generation of unknown compounds which present health & safety hazards and require additional costs for identification before final disposal.

When it is necessary for chemical products to be transferred to other containers, it is the responsibility of the employee making such transfers to assure a proper label is attached that contains at a minimum, the name of the chemical written out. Structures, formulas or abbreviations are not acceptable. It also requires that any special hazards also be identified on the container label.  Examples include, but are not limited to, carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, highly toxic, explosives, etc. Preprinted labels for this purpose are available at Science Stores.

In addition, it is also recommended that all chemicals be given a “Date Received,” “Date Opened,“ and/or “Expiration Date.”   This policy is mandatory for peroxide forming compounds such as ether, dioxane, tetrahydrofuran, etc.  The Binghamton University Hazardous Waste Management Guide (available on-line at lists specific examples and procedures for dealing with peroxide forming compounds.  This policy is necessary to prevent peroxide forming compounds from becoming unstable and potentially explosive over time which requires special handling and disposal at a cost of $1000 or more PER container.

Questions concerning chemical labeling should be directed to the Hazardous Waste Manager at 607-777-2211