Cleaning supplies in the classroom? Your papers, please

One of Lenore Skenazy’s readers, a kindergarten teacher in Wisconsin, says the list of things not allowed in the classroom without a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) at her school includes dish soap and baby wipes [Free-Range Kids; MSDS for dish soap from and for baby wipes from]


  • Every time I think I’ve seen the absolute limit of bureaucratic stupidity, I’ve been proven wrong. I am hesitant to predict any further.

  • And make sure the baby wipes aren’t folded gun shaped, or you’ll get a visit from the police as well.

  • As the person who had to personally write the MSDS for the distilled water kept in our hazmat locker –we kept it there for convenience sake because it was used on the same jobs that required more dangerous substances –I can say that there is no peak bureaucratic stupid.

  • I work in a machine shop, we have to have MSDS for every type of metal we work on. I know a cabinetmaker who had MSDS for every type of wood that they worked with in his shop.

    By the end of the year, we have to retrain all of our employees to use the new SDS sheets and begin our transition away from MSDS. Reason? MSDS is a US standard. SDS is an International Standard.

  • Anna:

    Just a hint, the MSDS has gone away, to be replaced by the newer, updated, longer, and more colorful Safety Data Sheet. So any paperwork where you used to refer to the MSDS should be changed, in your copious spare time.

  • Anna,
    Were you manufacturing the DI water?
    The MSDS/SDS has to come from the manufacturer/distributor. You cannot just write one up on your own.