Chemical Labeling

All hazardous chemicals must be clearly labeled for the benefit of current users, emergency personnel, and future users. Make sure all labels are legible, in English, and prominently displayed on the container. If applicable, the laboratory supervisor may arrange for labels, signs, and other warnings to be printed in additional languages. Damaged or missing labels must be repaired or replaced.

For more information on UCSF labeling requirements, see Section 2 of the Safe Storage of Hazardous Chemicals document.

Labeling Chemical Containers

To avoid abandoned containers of unknown materials that may be expensive or dangerous to dispose of, the contents of all chemical containers and transfer vessels, including, but not limited to, beakers, flasks, reaction vessels, and process equipment, must be properly identified. The labels should be understandable to trained laboratory personnel and members of well-trained emergency response teams. Labels or tags should be resistant to fading from age, chemical exposure, temperature, humidity, and sunlight.

Chemical identification and hazard warning labels on containers used for storing chemicals should include the following information:

  • chemical identification or, for mixtures, identity of hazardous component(s)
  • appropriate hazard warnings

Materials transferred from primary (labeled) bulk containers to transfer vessels or secondary use containers (e.g., spray bottles) should be labeled with the chemical identification, hazards, and precautions. Label containers in immediate use, such as beakers and flasks, with the chemical contents. All reagents should be labeled with enough information to avoid confusion between any similarly-named chemicals.

EH&S templates for labels are available below.

Label Templates

EHS Categories

Chemical Safety