The science behind hazardous substance labeling is that chemical harmful
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The science behind Hazardous substance labeling IS That Chemical Harmful?. Regulations. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is enforced by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

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The science behind Hazardous substance labeling IS That Chemical Harmful?

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The science behind Hazardous substance labelingIS That Chemical Harmful?


  • The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is enforced by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

  • OSHA is authorized by the Occupational Safety & Health Act-- a law passed by the United States Congress

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)

  • Requires employers to:

    • Develop and follow a written hazard communication program

    • Use labels and other forms of warnings

    • Retain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and

    • Provide information and training for employees

Employees’ Right-to-Know

  • HCS is based on a simple concept--that employees have both a need and a Right To Know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to when working

  • The information is communicated

    on a document called a Material

    Safety Data Sheet, an MSDS

Normal vs. Hazardous Use

  • The application of the HCS is based on normal conditions of use

    • A product is used as it was intended

    • With the same regularity for which it was marketed

  • Example:

    • Normal Condition of Use:

      • An office worker uses WD40 to loosen the lock of a desk

    • Hazardous Material Exposure:

      • An automotive technician uses two cans of WD40 per day

Under the HCS, Employers…

  • Must develop a written program that covers at least:

    • Labels and other forms of warnings

    • Material Safety Data Sheets

    • Employee Information and Training

Labels, Tags and Markings

  • All materials regulated under the HCS must be identified by label, tag or marking to communicate:

    • Identity of the hazardous chemical

    • Appropriate hazard warnings

Two Labeling Systems




  • Use same criteria except:

    • HMIG: designed for employee to know hazards of materials they work with and how to protect themselves

    • NFPA: designed for transportation to know how to store material and respond to an emergency situation.

      NFPA does not comply with the HCS requirements

How to Remember 0 to4

  • 0 = Minimal Risk

    • Slight irritation

  • 1 = Going to need a bandage

  • 2 = Going to see a Doctor

  • 3 = Going to the hospital… for a while

    • It is surprising what you can live through

  • 4 = Death

    • Can kill with one time exposure

Chemical Exposure, Severity, and Duration

  • “Acute” effects usually occur rapidly as a result of short-term exposures, and are of short duration

  • “Chronic” effects generally occur as a result of long-term exposure, and are of long duration


  • Visible destruction, or irreversible damage to body tissue

  • Acids or Caustics (or bases)

    1 714

    pH scale

Hazardous Chemicals Target Human Organs


  • Chemicals which produce liver damage

  • Signs and Symptoms: jaundice, liver enlargement

  • Chemicals: Carbon Tetrachloride, nitrosamines


  • Chemicals which produce kidney damage

  • Signs and Symptoms: edema

  • Chemicals: Halogenated Hydrocarbons, uranium


  • Chemicals which produce their primary toxic effects on the nervous system

  • Signs and Symptoms: unconsciousness, behavioral changes, decreased motor function

  • Chemicals: mercury, carbon disulfide, lead

Toxins to the Blood

  • Decrease hemoglobin function, deprive the body tissues of oxygen

  • Signs and Symptoms: cyanosis, loss of consciousness

  • Chemicals: carbon monoxide, cyanides

Toxins to the Lungs

  • Chemicals which damage pulmonary tissue

  • Signs and Symptoms: cough,tightness in the chest, loss of breath

  • Chemicals: asbestos, silica

Reproductive Toxins

  • Chemicals which damage reproductive capabilities

  • Includes chromosomal damage (mutations) and damage to fetuses (teratogenesis)

  • Signs and Symptoms: birth defects, sterility

  • Chemicals: Lead

Cutaneous Hazards

  • Chemicals which effect the dermal layer of the body

  • Signs and Symptoms: defattingof the skin, rashes, irritation

  • Chemicals: ketones, chlorinated compounds

Eye Hazards

  • Chemicals which affect the eye or visual capacity

  • Signs and symptoms: Conjunctivitis, corneal damage, blurred vision, burning or irritation

  • Chemicals: Solvents, corrosives

Take Proper Precautions

  • Know the substances with which you are working

  • Recognize hazards in the workplace

  • Wear personal protective equipment when needed

  • Prevent illness and injury

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