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June 1992

Toxicologic Data—Sorry, Wrong Number

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh, Pa

Tarmington, Conn

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(6):1333. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400180169039

To the Editor.—  Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to aid clinicians and other groups in evaluating potential exposure-associated disease. However, possession of an MSDS does not necessarily imply possession of adequate health data.1 Furthermore, MSDS do not even consistently provide a good starting point for gathering additional information in a timely or efficient fashion.We were recently asked to evaluate a golf course employee for a chemical burn and possible neurologic complications resulting from a fungicide exposure. The MSDS obtained from the employer, who purchases this material on a routine basis, included the following information:Effective Date: 08-01-85 PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION Synonyms: mercurous and mercuric chlorides, wettable powder Formula CAS no: 8065-83-6 (trade name given) Molecular weight: not applicable Chemical formula: not applicable Hazardous ingredients: CAS7546-30-7 mercury (I) chloride 60% CAS7487-94-7 mercury (II) chloride 30%In an effort to find a