Health Hazards

two men training'

Chemicals that may cause damage to health. Also known to mean caution. This is the closest replacement to the previous harmful and irritant classifications. The symbol is an exclamation mark.


  • May cause respiratory irritation.
  • May cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • May cause an allergic skin reaction.
  • Causes serious eye irritation.
  • Causes skin irritation.
  • Harmful if swallowed.
  • Harmful in contact with skin.
  • Harmful if inhaled.
  • Harms public health and the environment by destroying ozone in the upper atmosphere.

Serious Health Hazard
Also known to mean long term health hazards. These are chemicals that can cause serious and long term damage to health. The symbol shows a person with damage.

  • May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.
  • Causes damage to organs.
  • May cause damage to organs.
  • May damage fertility or the unborn child.
  • Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child.
  • May cause cancer.
  • Suspected of causing cancer.
  • May cause genetic defects.
  • Suspected of causing genetic defects.
  • May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

How do hazardous chemicals affect the body? It depends on several factors:

  • How the chemical enters the body
  • Routes of Entry – Absorption, Inhalation, Ingestion, Injection
  • The physical form of the chemical
  • The amount of chemical that actually enters the body – the dose
  • How toxic (poisonous) the chemical is