Chemical Safety Resources

Dalhousie University subscribes to databases from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Academic Support Program. This program provides comprehensive health, safety, and environmental information through a number of databases and collections. To access these, you must be using a Dalhousie University IP address. (Contact us the EHS Office if you are having difficulties). All CCOHS databases are accessible only from the University network.

Web Collections

MSDS For users who need safety data on specific chemical products used in their workplaces (for example, cleaners, paints, glues, laboratory chemicals). The MSDS database provides more than 300,000 current Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) directly from 2000 North American suppliers and manufacturers. This database can be utilized by laboratories, workshops and other areas to manage and comply with hazard communication, WHMIS and other right-to-know requirements.

CHEMINFO contains detailed profiles of more than 1,300 important workplace chemicals, including health, fire and reactivity hazards and safe work practices. Records are designed for use by health and safety professionals, employees working with chemicals, users and writers of Material Safety Data Sheets, firefighters, and other emergency response personnel.

FTSS (Fiche techniques sur la sécurité des substances): Le disque FTSS vous donne accès à fiches signalétiques de langue française à jour venant de plus de 250 fabricants et fournisseurs nord-américains.

RTECS® (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances): Critical toxicity data on more than 165,000 chemical substances in the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemicals, enhanced by CCOHS. Summaries citing irritation, LD50s, carcinogenicity tests, plus some regulatory data like exposure limits are available for a very large number of chemical substances.

OSH References Collection includes:

  • OSHLINE provides comprehensive international coverage of documents on occupational health and safety, as well as related fields. It contains detailed summaries of over 200,000 articles, reports and publications, spanning over 100 years. OSHLINE™ complements the coverage of NIOSHTIC®, which was discontinued in mid-1998.
  • NIOSHTIC® - Covers all aspects of occupational health and safety with a strong emphasis on toxicology.
  • NIOSHTIC®-2 - Featuring NIOSH-published or sponsored reports, NIOSHTIC-2 covers 1971 to present. A portion of references ? approximately 13,000 ? related to mining date from the 1930s. Types of documents include: NIOSH criteria documents, alerts and technical reports, Health Hazard Evaluations (HETA Reports), NIOSH-authored journal articles, books & symposia.
  • CISILO - a bilingual, bibliographic database that provides references to international occupational health and safety literature.
  • HSELINE - Produced by the UK Health and Safety Executive, HSELINE provides over 175,000 citations with abstracts to worldwide literature on occupational safety and health. Coverage of all UK Health and Safety Commission and Health and Safety Executive publications as well as a wide range of periodicals, books, conference proceedings, reports, and legislation. Predominantly oriented towards safety and industrial hazards, with an emphasis on Engineering, Manufacturing, Railways, Hazardous substances, Occupational Hygiene, Offshore Safety, Nuclear Technology, Industrial Air Pollution, Welding, Construction and Robotics.
  • Canadiana - database offering references related to Canada, including references to reports, articles, conference proceedings, monographs and unpublished or limited distribution materials. Also includes selected TOXLINE® records from the US National Library of Medicine.


ILO Encyclopaedia - Articles covering all aspects of health and safety, by respected international experts and produced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) of the United Nations. Covers topics from medicine and organizational psychology to ergonomics and safety engineering.

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation - All the health, safety and environmental legislation you need in one convenient location. (all provinces EAST of Ontario, and the Federal legislation)

CHEMpendium - Provides essential chemical hazard information for your workplace and the environment through a collection of databases (Domestic Substances List (DSL), Non-Domestic Substances List (NDSL), NIOSH Pocket Guide, Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), and a variety of other services.

Additional Resources

CHEMINDEX – a database developed by CCOHS with resources on over 200,000 chemicals. Each CHEMINDEX record contains identification information on a unique substance, including chemical names and synonyms, and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry numbers

OSH Answers – answers to hundred of frequently asked health and safety questions

INCHEM – chemical publications from United Nations agencies