Hazardous Household Product Symbols By: Nicole

Signal words: A signal word is a prompt that alerts you about the degree or level of hazard of the product. There are only two signal words used: "Danger" or "Warning". "Danger" is used for high risk hazards, while "Warning" is used for less severe hazards.
This symbol means the container is dangerous. It can explode if it is heated causing flying bits of metal or plastic that can lead to serious injuries. The danger border means you have to be really careful around the product.
This symbol means the product inside the container is dangerous. The caution border means you can use the product, but you need to take precautions, like wearing gloves or goggles etc.

There are four main symbols, which tell us things about products with these symbols on them.

Chemicals are all around us and we use them in our daily lives all the time. We use chemical like makeup, medicine when we are sick, hairspray,bleach etc. There is something that informs us about the household hazardous chemicals we use, called HHPS, which is something very important to learn.
The border of this symbol means caution/dangerous. The symbol with the hand means it is corrosive, in other words it will burn your skin on contact.

Safety precaution: wear gloves and goggles when working with this chemical and do not inhale the fumes. If you do come in contact with the area wash it off immediately, and seek immediate help.

Examples: toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaner

The border of this symbol means caution/dangerous. It means the chemical is flammable as it can catch fire. Always use this product in an area with ventilation and keep it away from eat. If a fire produces continue with fire protocols to extinguish it.

Examples: fuel, alcohol, paint thinner.

The border of this symbol means dangerous containers. This symbol represents explosive, it can explode . Never keep/ store near heat or drop, or mix with other substances . If it explodes serious damage can be done especially concerning the eyes since particles can fly. Seek immediate care if this happens.

Examples: aerosol containers, hairspray, spray paint etc.

Furniture polish
This border represents danger to the content in product. It's symbol means toxic, or poisonous. Licking, eating, drinking, or sometimes smelling when encountering this product can cause illness, lightheadedness, and sometimes death. If contact is made flush and seek immediate help. When working with this chemical always wear gloves, wash your hands and never inhale the fumes.

Example: windshieldwasher fluid, furniture polish.

Household Hazards

•Read the label before you buy or use a household chemical product.• Follow the instructions every time you use a household chemical. By law, the label must include instructions on how to use and store the product safely. It must also show warnings of possible hazards.• Do not cover up or remove the labels from household chemical products. Never mix household chemical products together. Some mixtures can produce harmful gases.•Child resistant does not mean child proof. Close the cap on the container all the way even if you set it down for just a moment. Post emergency phone numbers by your telephone and program the number into your phone.

•Store household chemical products safely. Store all household chemical products in their original containers. Keep all safety information. Keep all household chemical products locked away, where children cannot see or reach them.Try not to store products that may release harmful fumes or catch fire inside your home. These items include paints, solvents, gasoline, fuels or varnishes. Store them according to the instructions on the product’s label in a separate building if you can, or in an area that is well vented to the outside. Dispose of leftover household chemical products safely. Buy only the amount you need for the job so there is no waste. Check your city or town's guidelines for instructions on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste

Never: burn household chemical containers, pour the contents down the drain unless directed, Inappropriately reuse empty containers

Supplier Labels...

Product Identifier: The product name exactly as it appears on the container and on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

Hazard Pictograms: Hazard pictograms are determined by the hazard classification of the product. In some cases, no pictogram is needed.

Signal Word: "Danger” or “Warning” are used to emphasize hazardsand indicate their severity. In some cases, no signal word is required.

Hazard Statements: Brief standardized statements of all hazards based on the product’s hazard classification.

Precautionary Statements: hese statements describe recommended measures to minimize or prevent reaction from exposure to the product, including protective equipment and emergency measures. First aid is included in precautionary statements.

Supplier Identifier: the company that sells or imports the product and is responsible for the label and SDS. Contact the supplier for additional product information.

Hazardous Ingredients: Although disclosure of hazardous ingredients on a label is not required, the supplier may choose to include them. However, there are requirements for disclosing hazardous substances and ingredients on the SDS.


  • https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/whmis_ghs/labels.html
  • http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/environment-environnement/home-maison/chemicals-chimiques-eng.php
  • http://www.worksafenb.ca/docs/WHMIS-Supplier-Labels.pdf


Created with images by Horia Varlan - "Graduated cylinders and beaker filled with chemical compounds"

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