Appendix of Safety & Risk Management Manual

The Appendix section includes the following information.


Material Safety Data Sheet terms: The following are commonly used terms when consulting a Material Safety Data Sheet. This glossary contains simplified definitions of key terms used when discussing chemicals or chemical products.

Acute Effect

An adverse effect with severe symptoms occurring very quickly, as a result of a single excessive overexposure to a substance.

Acute Toxicity

The adverse effects resulting from a single excessive overexposure to a substance. Usually a figure denoting relative toxicity.


A vapor or gas that can cause unconsciousness or death by suffocation. Most are associated with a lack of sufficient oxygen to promote life.

Boiling Point

A temperature at which a liquid turns to a vapor state. This term is usually associated with the temperature at sea level pressure when a flammable liquid gives off sufficient vapors to promote combustion.

Ceiling "C"

In terms of exposure concentrations, this is the number that should never be exceeded even for a short period, for a substance.


A substance or agent capable of producing cancer in mammals.

Cubic centimeter "cc"

A volume measurement usually associated with small quantities of a liquid. One quart has 946 cubic centimeters.

Chronic Effect

An adverse effect with symptoms that develop or recur very slowly, or over long periods of time.

Chronic Toxicity

The adverse effects resulting from prolonged or repeated exposures to a substance, usually used as an indicator of relative toxicity for exposure over great lengths of time.


A term used to classify liquids, gases, or solids that will burn readily. This term is often associated with "flash point", which is a temperature at which a given material will generate sufficient vapors to promote combustion.


A figure used to define relative quantity of a particular material. Corrosive - A material with the characteristics of causing irreversible harm to human skin, or steel by contact. Many acids are classified as corrosives.


The breakdown of materials or substances into other substances or parts of compounds. Usually associated with heat or chemical reactions.


Used on or applied to the skin.

Dermal Toxicity

The adverse effects resulting from exposure of a material to the skin. Determined from tests on lab animals.

Evaporation Rate

The rate at which a liquid material is known to evaporate, usually associated with flammable materials. The faster a material will evaporate, the sooner it will become concentrated in the air, possibly creating an explosive mixture or toxic concentration.

Flash Point

The temperature at which a liquid will generate sufficient vapors to promote combustion. Generally, the lower the flash point, the greater the danger of combustion.


Any liquid that has a flash point of 100 degrees F. or below. Also, any solid which can ignite readily and sustain fire.

General Exhaust

A term used to define a system for exhausting or ventilating air from a general work area. Not as site specific as localized exhaust.

Gram "g"

A unit of weight. One ounce equals about 28.4 grams.

Hazardous Chemical

Any chemical which is either a physical or health hazard or both.


A term used to define any liquid, gas or solid which has the ability to be "ignited" which means having a flash point of 140 degrees F., or less.


Materials which could cause dangerous reactions from direct contact with one another.


Taking in of a substance through the mouth.


The breathing in of a substance in the form of a gas, liquid, vapor, dust, mist, or fume.


A chemical added to another substance to prevent an unwanted change from occurring.


A chemical that causes a reversible inflammatory effect on the site of contact; however, is not considered a corrosive. Normally, irritants affect the eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and respiratory system.


A substance that yields oxygen readily to stimulate the combustion of an organic material.

Oxidizing Agent

A chemical or substance that brings on oxidation reaction by providing the oxygen to promote oxidation.

Permissible Exposure Limit PEL

An exposure concentration established by the Occupational Safety and Health Community which indicates the maximum concentration for which no adverse effects will follow.

Parts Per Million PPM

A unit of measurement for the concentration of a gas or vapor in air. Usually expressed as number of parts per million parts of air.

Parts Per Billion PPB

As above, only expressed as number of parts per billion parts of air.


The term which describes the tendency of a substance to undergo a chemical change with the release of energy, often as heat.

Reducing Agent

In an oxidation reaction, this is the material that combines with oxygen.

Respiratory System

The breathing system, including the lungs, and air passages, plus their associated nervous and circulatory components.


A substance that on first exposure causes little or no reaction; however, with repeated exposure will induce a marked response not necessarily limited to the exposure site. Usually associated with skin sensitization.

Specific Gravity

The weight of a material compared to the weight of an equal volume of water. Usually expressed as material's heaviness. A material with a specific gravity greater than l.0 will sink in water, whereas a material with a specific gravity less than l.0 will float in water.

Short Term Exposure Limit STEL

The maximum allowable concentration of a substance that one can be exposed to for less than 15 minutes and not produce adverse health effects


A substance or agent that may cause malformation of the fetus in pregnant women. Determined from lab animal tests.

Threshold Limit Value TLV

A term used by the occupational safety and health community to describe the airborne concentration of a material to which nearly all persons can be exposed day in and day out, and not develop adverse health effects.


The sum of adverse effects of exposure to materials, generally by mouth, skin, or respiratory tract.

Time Weighted Average TWA

The airborne concentration of a material to which a person can be exposed over an 8-hour workday without adverse effects.

Upper Explosive Limit UEL

The highest concentration of a gas or vapor in air that will sustain or support combustion, when an ignition source is present.

Vapor Density

A term used to define the weight of a vapor or gas as compared to the weight of an equal volume of air. Gases lighter than air have a vapor density of less than l.0 whereas gases heavier than air have a vapor density greater than l.0.

Vapor Pressure

A number used to describe the pressure that a saturated vapor will exert on top of its own liquid in a closed container. Usually, the higher the vapor pressure, the lower the boiling point, and therefore the more dangerous the material can be, if flammable.

[Back to Top]


Frostburg State University's first priority is to the health and well being of its employees and students. To achieve this goal, compliance with standards from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of Environment is crucial. A healthier and cleaner environment is not the responsibility of one person, department or division. Maintaining a balance with the environment is the responsibility of each Frostburg State University employee.

[Back to Top]

Police Department Sheild