Hazard symbols

Hazards

A hazard is something that could cause:

  • harm to someone
  • damage to something
  • adverse health effects, either straightaway or later

For example, concentrated acids are corrosive. This is a hazard because acids can damage skin and clothes if they are spilt.

Using hazard symbols

Hazard symbols are used on containers. They are there to:

  • indicate the dangers associated with the substance inside
  • give information about how to work safely with the substance in the laboratory

Hazard symbols are designed to provide a warning, even if a person cannot understand the writing that goes with them.

Several hazard symbols, their meaning and an example of a typical hazardSome of the new international hazard symbols and their meanings