The First Place to Look for an MSDStop

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Last Update  08/25/07 07:48 AM

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A common vision is a cooperative effort where manufacturers make their MSDSs available free of charge from a single location on an Internet website. This vision continues to gain support from manufacturing companies, their customers, industry groups, and government agencies. Participation in this cooperative effort can significantly reduce distribution costs for manufacturers, and the associated administration costs for customers to obtain a current MSDS from their suppliers.

Historical conclusions indicate that manufacturers will not pay to put their MSDSs in a central database. We disagree. When a manufacturer can place an MSDS in a central repository for a year making it available to all of his customers for the cost of providing a single copy to one customer, in the words of one senior Healthcare Industry executive, "It's a no brainer."

Why hasn't this been done? Because customers have not spoken with a single voice to convince their suppliers that this is an economically viable and much needed delivery mechanism. If a single voice is needed, we will provide the leadership for directing that chorus. Register your support to convince these manufacturers that the existing system is cumbersome at best and does little to contain the MSDS administrative costs you incur. Encourage all of your commercial and industrial neighbors to join the effort.


Starting in 1992 we began encouraging manufacturers to voluntarily participate in an effort to establish a central repository by making their MSDSs available at a single location and sharing the efficiencies to be realized with the promise of better customer service and a substantial economic savings for both parties.

Since the failure of MSDS Central, the Chemical Manufacturers Association's attempt at a centralized database, no one has been willing to take the lead and provide MSDSs free to anyone with Internet access that meet the requirements of being both "from the manufacturer" and "the most current document available".

The "kiss of death" for such prior efforts has been the requirement that the user pay a subscription fee. MSDS administrators can not convince their management that they should pay for an MSDS since the manufacturer is required to provide it with the purchase of the product. These same managers may agree to pay for software packages, management services, and data entry, but if you need an MSDS, they think you simply call up the manufacturer and ask for a copy since they know that the manufacturer is required to send it to you. The result has been a steady rise in distribution costs for manufacturers, and administrative costs for users as they search for documents in an attempt to keep their files current.

Having Manufacturers provide MSDS information in a central repository is by far the easiest to administer for everyone involved. An MSDS text file offers communication efficiencies because it is only about five percent the size of any of the many image formats common to the Internet and has the added advantages of being searchable, easily indexed, and readily manipulated by the end user on his in-house MSDS management software.


Many manufacturers believe their involvement in the MSDS management function to be that of regulatory compliance and see no "compelling reason" to participate in any effort such as MSDS SEARCH since they provide their MSDSs to their customers by their own Internet sites, FAX systems, with each order shipped, etc. Since the cost of a library of MSDSs is borne by the the customer, the manufacturer has no "compelling reason" to help his customers avoid or reduce expenses related to administering their library, unless the customer makes an issue of cost reduction and asks the manufacturer for help.

Software providers attempt to make the case that if everyone would simply use their brand of software, we all could communicate and there wouldn't be a problem - not going to happen! Meanwhile everyone continues to ask for a central repository.

A Fortune 50 petrochemical company calculated their cost to deliver an MSDS to a customer at $15 per request based on their current systems of Internet, Fax-back, and hard copy distribution. When they compared this to the cost associated with the MSDS-SEARCH central repository, they were astonished to find that their calculated cost to deliver an MSDS dropped to $17.00 per year with unlimited distribution - a savings of over 98 percent! This potential lower cost paled when they examined the savings they could realize on the products they purchase by requesting that their suppliers also provide MSDSs in the MSDS-SEARCH central repository.  


MSDS-SEARCH is fully functional and ready to be loaded with MSDSs. We are actively encouraging manufacturers to make their records available to their customers via this central repository.

Our computer center has at least two of every system including power supplies, both a battery system, and a propane generator, so that if a primary system fails the backup system takes over seamlessly. As the database develops, we will mirror the site to multiple locations around the world to assure that MSDSs are available when you need them every time you need them.

As an information transfer company we currently process over one million transactions per month on an international basis for over eighty thousand unique users.

We sell no software. All that is required to use MSDS-SEARCH is an Internet browser.


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