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Health Services

Occupational Health


Chemical Exposures

If you are exposed to a chemical and experience unusual effects, please check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to determine any specific treatment needed for the product or chemical exposure. Many substances are irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes. Some cause respiratory problems or skin rashes. Others can be toxic. Special procedures must be taken for some spills, like a large formaldehyde spill. IU Health employees may reference the laminated card attached to the IU Health ID badge for emergency numbers (IU Health security 274-7270) and codes (Orange) for hazardous chemical spills that occur on IU Health property. Indiana Poison Centerís phone number is 1 800 222-1222.

First Aid

If anything is splattered into the eyes, flush the eyes with tap water for 15-20 minutes. If contacts are worn, remove them as soon as possible. If something gets on your skin, wash it off with soap and water. If you are having breathing difficulties, get out of the environment and breathe fresh air if possible. For severe reactions, like respiratory distress or chest pain, go to the ER or call 911.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

MSDS are often found on the unit where the product is used. IU Health has an on-line manual related to hazardous products. Several products are listed beginning on page 4 of the manual. The IU Health manual is available on-line.

IUPUI's Department of Environmental Health and Safety has a great website which lists MSDS, policies, emergency procedures, and other info.

After initial first aid is done, report to IUPUI Health Services with a completed IUPUI accident or IU Health exposure form. If IUPUI Health Services is closed, either go to the University Hospital ER for treatment and evaluation or visit the clinic during business hours.

IUPUI Laboratory Safety Handbook

Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment can reduce your risk of exposure when working in a lab. The IUPUI Laboratory Safety Handbook (2003 revision) has a variety of information about laboratory safety practices and chemical hazard classes, storage and emergency equipment and procedures. It is found on-line on the Environmental Health and Safety site.

Please use caution when handling chemicals and cleaning products.