Definition - What does Hazardous Chemical mean?
A hazardous chemical refers to a chemical which has properties with the potential to do harm to human or animal health, the environment, or capable of damaging properties and are combustibles. The term includes chemical dusts, vapors, smoke, fumes, mixtures, solvents, detergents, acids, alkalies, petroleum and paints etc..
Safeopedia explains Hazardous Chemical
Hazardous chemicals are frequently used in the workplace as raw materials, solvents, cleaning agents or catalysts etc.. These are normally classified according to the risk they pose to health and property.
Hazardous chemicals are categorized as follows:
- Flammable or explosives - petroleum, TNT, plastic explosives etc.
- Irritating or corrosive to skins, lungs and eyes - acids, alkali, paints, fumes etc.
- Toxic chemicals - carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, cyanide etc.
Extreme cautions are to be taken to handle, store, transport and use the hazardous chemicals. The users need to wear protective clothing and personal protective equipment to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals. Hazardous chemicals are marked with MSDS stickers that display the content’s severity. There are safe limits of exposure to such chemicals that are published by competent authorities. Employees are to be given sufficient training on the safe handling of these chemicals.