The Most Common Chemical Hazards | How To Avoid Them

the most common chemical hazards & how to avoid them!!!

The Chemical Hazard in the Lab is a very serious

issue. Chemical hazards are substances which can

cause harm to people by chemical reaction,

inhalation or ingestion. Chemical hazards are

ubiquitous in laboratory work and  present many

dangers to lab workers and students alike. This

blog post will discuss the most common chemical

hazards found in laboratories and how you can

avoid them!

the most common chemical hazards & how to avoid them!!! (pinterest pin)
The Most Common Chemical Hazards & How To Avoid Them!!! (Pinterest Pin)

What Causes Chemical Hazards?

whmis 2015 symbols workplace hazardous material system
Bottle of hazardous material thrown in the ground

Chemical hazards are due to chemical reactions.

Chemical reaction is a process in which one or

more substances(reactants) undergo changes

that result in the production of new substances

(products). This can be very dangerous and 

harmful for humans as well, when we come into

contact with these hazardous chemicals! Chemical

reaction can be exothermic or endothermic.

Chemical reactions which are either reactive are

very dangerous and extremely harmful!

Exothermic Reaction: In this type of chemical reaction, the products do not have more heat than reactants;

hence it releases energy in form of heat. This process is also called as a burning reaction.

Endothermic Reaction: Chemical reaction which absorbs energy from the surroundings is called as

endothermic chemical reactions or heat absorption.

When you come into contact with these hazardous chemicals, it can be life threatening!

What Are Chemical Hazards Defined As?

classification of dangerous goods

Chemical hazards are substances which can cause

harm to people by chemical reaction, inhalation or

ingestion. Chemical Hazard is a compound that

poses significant damage when it comes into

contact with exposed tissue. Chemical hazard

presents many dangers to lab workers and

students alike in different ways! Chemical

Hazards may be solid, liquid or gas; they can also

come as a paste or a powder. Chemical hazards

can be reactive, corrosive, flammable or explosive

and are found in every industry sector including

agriculture, manufacturing food processing and

pharmaceuticals.

chemical hazard pictograms
Chemical hazard pictograms

Are Chemical Hazards And Pollutants The Same Thing?

Close-up shot of blue color hazardous dangerous chemical barrels

Chemical hazards and chemical pollutants are

different. Chemical pollutants can be defined as a

toxic or poisonous substance which is introduced

into the environment by humans, whereas

chemical hazard is not necessarily harmful to our

surroundings but cause harm when comes in

contact with exposed tissue of human beings!

Chemical Hazards can be radioactive

compounds/materials (radiation), infectious

material (biohazard), chemical, and physical

hazards(heat). Chemical  hazards are substances which can cause harm to people by chemical reaction,

inhalation or ingestion. Chemical hazardous is a compound that poses significant damage when it comes

into contact with exposed tissue of humans! Chemical Hazard presents many dangers to lab workers and

students alike in different ways! Chemical Hazards may be solid, liquid or gas; they can also come as a

paste or a powder. Chemical hazardous can be reactive, corrosive and flammable! Chemical hazards are

due to chemical reactions. Chemical reaction is a process in which one or more substances (reactants)

undergo changes that result in the production of new substances (products). Chemical hazards can be

radioactive compounds/materials, infectious material , chemical and physical hazards! Chemical hazards

may be solid, liquid or gas; they can also come as a paste or powder. Chemical hazardous can be reactive,

corrosive and flammable! When you come into contact with these hazardous chemicals it can be life

threatening! Chemical Hazards are ubiquitous in nature and are found in every industry sector including

agriculture, manufacturing food processing and pharmaceuticals. Chemical reaction can be exothermic or

endothermic. Chemical Reactions which are either reactive are very dangerous and extremely harmful!!

Exothermic Chemical reactions release energy in form of heat. Chemical Reaction which absorbs energy

from the surroundings is called as endothermic chemical reaction or Chemical Reactions which are either

reactive are very dangerous and extremely harmful!! This process is also called as a burning reaction!!!

How Are Chemical Hazards Classified?

Chemical Hazard can be classified as four types:

  • Flammable Chemical is a substance that produces dangerous fire or heat.
  • Explosive Chemical reacts violently by decomposing, making it extremely hazardous to humans!
  • Reactive Chemical is an unstable chemical which changes its properties when activated and this reaction may result in harmful consequences for humans. Corrosive Chemical has the ability to destroy animal tissue and dissolve or disintegrate other materials.
  • Hazardous Chemical is a chemical which does not have any specific properties but it can be harmful when it comes into contact with skin, eyes or human body!

What Chemical Hazards Include

Chemical hazards are ubiquitous in laboratory work and include substances such as: What chemical hazards include:

  • Explosive: Chemical which explode on impact or by heat, friction, and are sensitive to detonation.
  • Flammable: Chemical that readily give off inflammable gases in the presence of strong oxidizing agent such as oxygen.
  • Corrosive: Chemical capable of destroying tissue through chemical reaction with living tissues upon contact with skin or eyes.
  • Chemical Reactions: Chemical reaction is a process where one or more new chemical substances are formed from the interaction of two or more chemicals.
  • Dusts and Gases : Chemical which exists as particles in the air, flammable / combustible dusts & gases often present major hazards because they can ignite explosively.
  • Chemical Spills: Chemical spills are uncontrolled releases of chemicals that can cause exposure. There is no safe level for exposures to hazardous substances, so it’s important to prevent them whenever possible. Chemical spill cleanup steps should be followed closely and carefully or else they may lead to long term health effects from chemical contamination in the environment!

Chemical spills can be classified as:

  • Chemical Spills on ground surfaces.
  • Chemical Spills in water or sewage systems.

Chemical hazards are extremely dangerous and cause serious health issues if exposed to human body! It is

important for lab workers, students and lab technicians to be aware of the chemical hazard they may come

into contact with in their work. Chemical Lab Safety, Chemical Hazards and Chemical Inventory are some of

the topics to be discussed in detail for lab safety standards! Chemical hazards have a significant impact on

all aspects of life including health & well being; thus preventing exposure is important as it can help save

lives too! 

How Do You Identify Chemical Hazards?

danger hazardous chemicals sign

Chemical hazards have serious implications for

human health & safety and should be handled

with extreme care, especially in laboratories!

Chemical injuries are extremely dangerous and

need to be handled with care at all times,

especially in laboratories! Chemical spills on the

floor or other flat surface when not cleaned up

properly can lead to chemical burns which may

require medical attention. Chemical spills in water

or sewage system are extremely hazardous and

should be reported immediately to the lab

authorities for immediate action. Chemical

chemical spill pollution response team cleaning spill
Chemical spill pollution response team cleaning spill

injuries can lead to health problems including respiratory diseases, skin conditions & cardiovascular

disorders if not managed properly with medical intervention at an early stage of exposure! Chemical

Hazards have serious implications for human health & safety and should be handled with extreme care,

especially in laboratories!

  • Chemical Toxicity: chemical toxicity occurs when humans come into direct contact with high level of chemicals which are either known or unknown.
  • Chemical Hazards: chemical hazards can cause injury to the skin, eyes or respiratory system if not handled carefully! Chemical Hazards have serious implications for human health & safety and should be handled with extreme care, especially in laboratories! 
  • Chemical Burns: chemical burns have serious implications for human health & safety and should be handled with extreme care, especially in laboratories! Chemical burns may be caused due to direct contact or exposure of skin with chemicals which leads to a chemical reaction causing severe damage and injury!
  • Chemical Spills: on the floor or other flat surface when not cleaned up properly can lead to chemical burns which may require medical attention. Chemical Spills in water or sewage system are extremely hazardous and should be reported immediately to the lab authorities for immediate action.
  • Chemical Injuries: Chemical Injuries can lead to health problems including respiratory diseases, skin conditions & cardiovascular disorders if not managed properly with medical intervention at an early stage of exposure!

Are Chemical Hazards Always Visible?

two men in protective gear cleaning up after chemical accident
Oil leak on the floor

Chemical hazards are not always visible which

makes chemical hazards a big concern for the lab

authorities! Chemical toxicity occurs when

humans come into direct contact with high level

of chemicals which are either known or

unknown. Chemical hazards can cause injury to the skin, eyes or respiratory system if not handled

carefully! Chemical burns have serious implications for human health & safety and should be handled with

extreme care, especially in laboratories! Chemical spills on the floor or other flat surface when not cleaned

up properly can lead to Chemical Burns which may require medical attention.

How Do Chemical Hazards Affect Human Health?

labeling chemical hazards

Chemical hazard affects human health by:

  • Chemical Substances can be absorbed through skin, eyes or respiratory system.
  • Chemical Hazards can lead to chemical burns on the skin.
  • Exposure of chemicals in high concentrations can affect mental abilities such as reduced concentration and memory loss! Chemical hazards have adverse effects on other parts of the body including respiratory system, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract!
  • Chemical Hazardous Substances can lead to chemical toxicities which may cause acute or chronic injuries depending upon the exposure duration & frequency of contact! Chemical toxicity occurs when humans come into direct contact with high level of chemicals which are either known or unknown. Chemical hazards can cause injury to the skin, eyes or respiratory system if not handled carefully!
  • Chemical Spills in a lab environment is extremely hazardous as it may lead to chemical exposure and subsequent injuries caused by:

1. Chemical Burns

2. Inhalation of harmful gases

3. Skin contact with chemicals leading to Chemical Burns

4. Toxic Reactions or Chemical Injuries!

Chemical Spills on the floor may lead to slipping and fall accidents which can cause injuries such as:

1. Slipped Discs

2. Bone Fractures

3. Head Injury

Chemical hazards have serious implications for human health & safety. It is extremely important for lab

workers to understand chemical hazards & chemical injuries so they can work in a safe environment

without putting themselves at risk!

  • Chemical Spills on ground surfaces: There are many types of chemicals that can lead to serious chemical burns or injuries if not handled cautiously. chemical spills on the floor or other flat surface when not cleaned up properly can lead to chemical burns which may require medical attention!
  • Chemical Spills in water or sewage system: Chemical spills on the floor & other flat surface when not cleaned up properly can be swept into septic tanks, leading to chemical exposure for those working at lower spaces. It is important for lab workers and students to follow safety procedures and guidelines to prevent Chemical Injuries that may require medical attention!
  • Chemical Spills on skin: Skin contact with chemicals can lead to chemical burns or chemical toxicities depending upon the type of chemicals involved. It is extremely important for lab workers & students to understand how chemical hazards affect human health before working in laboratories where use of highly hazardous chemicals is a regular practice! chemical injuries are extremely dangerous and need to be handled with care at all times, especially in laboratories!
  • Chemical Spills on surface water: Chemical spills when not cleaned up properly can lead to chemical exposure for those working near the spill site. Chemical burns & injuries caused due to skin contact with chemicals may require medical attention! Chemical Spills in water or sewage system are extremely hazardous and should be reported immediately to the lab authorities for immediate action.
  • Chemical Injuries can lead to health problems including respiratory diseases, skin conditions & cardiovascular disorders if not managed properly with medical intervention at an early stage of exposure! Chemical Hazards have serious implications for human health & safety and should be handled with extreme care, especially in laboratories!
  • Chemical Toxicity: Chemical toxicity occurs when humans come into direct contact with high levels of chemicals which are either known or unknown. Chemical hazards can cause injury to the skin, eyes, or respiratory system if not handled carefully!
  • Chemical Burns: Contact between the human body & chemicals can lead to Chemical Burns. chemical burns may be caused due to direct contact or exposure of skin with chemicals which leads to a chemical reaction causing severe damage and injury! Chemical Burns are extremely dangerous and need immediate medical attention!

How Can Chemical Hazards Be Avoided?

portrait of industrial worker wearing hazmat suit in production plant
The Globally System of Classification and Labeling of Chemical Hazards

Chemical spill prevention in laboratories is

extremely important as it helps prevent chemical

exposure during laboratory experiments & other

scientific activities. Chemical hazards can cause

severe injuries and damage to human health if

not handled carefully!

Chemical containers need to be properly labeled with all relevant information such as:

1. Chemical name

2. Physical state of the chemicals

3. Chemical hazard

  • Chemical containers should be kept properly closed at all times. Open chemical bottles can lead to Chemical Spills if not handled carefully!
  • Chemicals stored in storage cabinets, shelves or special racks need to have safety mechanisms that prevent the chemicals from spilling out and getting into contact with anything around it!
  • Chemical containers should be stored away from heat sources, direct sunlight and other chemicals. Chemical Hazards can cause serious damage to human health if not handled carefully!
  • Chemical Spills: Chemical spills are one of the most common chemical hazards found in laboratories, posing a serious Chemical Hazard to the people who work in laboratories. Chemical spills can cause severe injuries, which require immediate medical attention!
  • Liquid chemicals need to be carefully mopped up using absorbent materials such as paper towels, sponges and rags. Chemical Spills can cause Chemical Injuries if not handled carefully!
  • The area affected by the spill needs to be cordoned off so that other people are prevented from entering the area where chemicals have been spilled until it has been properly decontaminated & neutralized! Chemical Spills can lead to Chemical Injuries and the area needs to be kept safe until it has been decontaminated before being accessed by any other personnel.

Chemical Exposure: in laboratories is extremely dangerous if not handled carefully as chemical toxicity

symptoms can occur which require immediate medical attention. Chemical spills on the ground or chemical

exposure during laboratory experiments can lead to Chemical Toxicity, which needs immediate medical

attention. Chemical spills should be cleaned immediately with caution & care by wearing appropriate

personal protective equipment such as gloves and glasses or masks before touching anything around it!

  • Chemical spills on the ground need to be decontaminated using appropriate methods depending on what has been spilled and how it should be handled. Chemical spills can cause Chemical Injuries if not managed properly! Chemical Spills need to be cleaned using appropriate methods depending on what has been spilled and how it should be handled in order to avoid injuries or health problems. Liquid chemicals need to be carefully mopped up with absorbent materials such as paper towels, sponges, and rags. Chemical spills on the ground need to be decontaminated before being accessed by any other personnel. Chemical Spills can cause Chemical Injuries if not handled with care!
  • The area affected by the spill needs to be cordoned off so that no one enters until it has been properly decontaminated & neutralized. Chemical spills on the ground can lead to chemical injuries, requiring immediate medical attention!
  • Liquid chemicals need to be carefully mopped up using absorbent materials such as paper towels, sponges, and rags. Chemical spills on the ground need to be decontaminated before being accessed by any other personnel. Chemical Spills can cause Chemical Injuries if not managed properly!

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