Chemical Hazards

Chemical Hazards

Chemicals are usually associated with scientists and laboratories but they can be found in many products of our daily living and work environment. Chemicals have many purposes and countless benefits, but some may become very harmful leading to labour or domestic accidents or even deadly if used improperly. Common chemical injuries can result in acute or chronic poisoning, skin and respiratory diseases, cancer, among others. Examples of chemical products include pesticides, cleaning products, paints, coatings and thinners.

Chemical agents fall into three danger categories:

physical

Includes chemical agents able to trigger accidents such as explosives, inflammable, oxidizing and corrosive substances.

health

Agents that may give rise to adverse health effects (occupational diseases, burning, poisoning), may be toxic or very toxic, corrosive, sensitizer, irritant, mutagen, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction.

environmental

Agents may be toxic to aquatic environment and danger to the ozone layer.

Chemical Risks may be caused in

3 ways:

solid:

like powders / fumes


liquid:

like mists / aerosols


gaseous:

like gases / vapours

and have multiple

effects

Release of harmful and toxic gases or airborne particles


Fire


Splashing of hot, corrosive or toxic liquids

common symptoms / injuries can be:

Poisoning, allergies, skin diseases, respiratory diseases, cancers, reproductive problems and birth defects.

safety wear:

  • |
  • Use approved safety googles

  • |
  • Wear gloves that have been checked for pin holes and rips

  • |
  • Wear a laboratory coat

  • |
  • Use footwear that protects the feet, not using open-wear shoes or be barefoot

#1

Know the hazards before using the chemicals

#2

Use appropriate control measures and personal protective equipment

#3

Ensure suitable ventilation needs

#4

Stay away of an ignition source when handling flammable substances

#5

Don’t eat, drink and/or smoke

#6

Use gloves to touch chemicals

#7

Use appropriate liquid delivery tools

#8

Don’t use container with narrow opening for a process that evolves heat and/or gas

#9

Don’t mix oxidizing agents with flammable or combustible substances according to the labels

#10

Don’t mix acid with bleaching solutions according to the labels

pie chart which represents the 15% of EU workers who have to handle dangerous substances as part of their jobs and the 15% who report breathing in smoke, fumes, powder or dust at work

did you know that...

15% of EU workers have to handle dangerous substances as part of their jobs.
And another 15% report breathing in smoke, fumes, powder or dust at work. Some highly dangerous substances - such as asbestos, which causes lung cancer and other fatal respiratory diseases - are now banned or under strict control.

did you know that...

Hydrofluoric acid is so corrosive that it will dissolve glass.
Although it is corrosive, hydrofluoric acid is considered to be a 'weak acid'.

example of an hydrofluoric acid label

Put your lab coat on!

It’s time to test if you’re a Chemical master! You will learn more about the chemical properties of the materials, do some research about the chemicals of household cleaning products and their safer/less toxic versions both for human beings and the environment!