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                                SAFETY SYMBOLS                              


Besides the safety rules and the safety contract you and your parents signed, you will be asked to recognize the most important safety symbols we can find in a lab, worksheet,  or a chemical container.

The whole list of signs you should be familiar is in your book or you can find many internet sites that show them in detail.

The next are the mandatory ones you should know:



General warning safety symbol

General Warning

It means "Be careful", Take precautions"



are biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This can include medical waste or samples of a microorganismvirus or toxin (from a biological source) that can affect human health (a biological contamination). It can also include substances harmful to animals.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_hazard



Chemicals with this label can burn your skin and eyes and burn holes in your clothes. An example is hydrochloric acid.

 environmental issue


Chemicals with this label are damaging to the environment. An example is CFC's.



Chemicals with this label explode easily. An example is lead azide.

 eye protection

Use Googles or Eye Protection

You will find this symbol together with another ones. It means that you should use goggles when handling those chemicals


 Flammable or  Open Fire

Chemicals with this label can catch fire easily. Example: methanol

 irritant - harmful


Chemicals with this label cause irritation to your eyes and skin. An example is hydrogen peroxide.

 high voltage

 High Voltage

High voltage may be present in that area. You should be careful on handling materials in that zone. 

 hot surface

Hot Surface 

You should use gloves or another protection when approaching to a hot surface

low temperature 

Low Temperature 

This symbol is used when low temperatures are present that can harm your skin or tissue. 



Chemicals with this label contain oxygen that may cause other materials to combust. An example is potassium dichromate.


 Poison / Toxic

Chemicals with this label are highly toxic. An example is mercury. The difference between poisonous and toxic is that the lethal dose of poison is smaller than the lethal dose of a toxic material.



These substances are radioactive. Radiation can damage cells and cause cancer.



Non Ionizing Radiation 


These type of radiation does not contain ions like x-rays, gamma rays and cosmic rays but they can affect equipment like radars and radios.



© Analia Sanchez