Identifying hazardous substances

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The packaging or container of hazardous substances will carry one or more symbol, to indicate its hazardous properties. Some of the pictograms you will see on packaging and containers are shown in the table below.

Globally harmonised pictograms
Toxic (can be fatal) if swallowed or inhaled.Hazardous to the environment and aquatic life.
Contains gases under pressure. May explode if heated and can cause burns.Oxidising gases, liquids and solids. May cause or intensify fire.
Harmful skin, eye or respiratory irritation. May cause an allergic reaction, drowsiness or breathing difficulties.Damage to organs and may cause serious longer-term health hazards (such as carcinogenicity and respiratory sensitisation).
Flammable gases, liquids, solids and aerosols. Heating may cause a fire.Corrosive and can cause severe skin damage or burns.
Heating may cause an explosion.
If you find a substance in a container with no label, make sure that no-one else can come into contact with it and report it to your supervisor.