Environmental Health and Safety

MSDS Glossary

F Fahrenheit
is a scale for measuring temperature. On the Fahrenheit scale, water boils at 212°F and freezes at 32°F. To convert a temperature from degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Centigrade, subtract 32 from the temperature, multiply that number by five, then divide by 9.
FDA
U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Fetus
The developing young in the uterus from the seventh week of gestation until birth.
FIFRA
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires that certain useful poisons, such as chemical pesticides, sold to the public contain labels that carry health hazard warnings to protect users. It is administered by EPA.
First Aid
Emergency measures to be taken when a person is suffering from overexposure to a hazardous material, before regular medical help can be obtained.
Flammable
A chemical that falls into one of the following categories:
  1. Liquid — A liquid with a flashpoint below 100°F (37.8°C).
  2. Solid — A solid, other than a blasting agent or explosive, that is able to cause fire through friction, absorption of moisture, spontaneous chemical change, or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or which can be ignited readily and when ignited burns so vigorously and persistently as to create a hazard.
  3. c. Gas — A gas that, at ambient temperature and pressure, forms a flammable mixture with air at a concentration of 13 percent by volume or less.
  4. Aerosol — A chemical substance or mixture dispensed from its container as a spray or mist by a propellant under pressure that, when tested by the method described in 16 CFR 1500.45, yields a flame projection exceeding 18 inches at full valve opening, or a flashback at any degree of valve opening.
Flammability Range
The lower and upper concentrations of a chemical vapor in air that will ignite if an ignition source is present. The lower concentration range is called the lower explosive limit (LEL), and the upper concentration range is called the upper explosive limit (UEL).
Some examples of the LEL and UEL for some common chemicals:
acetylene 2.5-80%
acetone 2.6-12.8%
propane 2.4-9.5%
toluene 1.27-7%
diesel fuel 1-5%
Flashback
A flashback occurs when flame from a torch burns back into the tip, the torch, or the hose. It is often accompanied by a hissing or squealing sound with a smoky or sharp-pointed flame.
Flashpoint
The minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to ignite. Used to determine how flammable a liquid is.
Foreseeable Emergency
Any potential occurrence such as, but not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment which could result in an uncontrolled release of a hazardous chemical into the workplace.
Formula
The scientific expression of the chemical composition of a material (e.g., water is H2O, sulfuric acid is H2SO4, sulfur dioxide is SO2).
Fume
The particulate, smoke-like emanation from the surface of heated metals.

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