Labels and MSDS are two safety information resources you should review before using any chemical. From these, you can determine:

  • Emergency and spill cleanup procedures.
  • First Aid.
  • Limits of exposure.
  • Physical hazards.
  • Precautions to avoid exposure.

However, if you've used a particular chemical before, logic dictates that you already know these things about that chemical, right? Not necessarily. Things may have changed (e.g., the formulation or delivery means may differ from your previous use).

New information may show previously unknown dangers and the precautions against them. A classic example of this is trichloroethane (TCE). This was once called "safety solvent" because it isn't flammable. But it isn't inherently safe, either; you must guard against skin contact and fume inhalation.