Hazard Pictograms

Pictograms are classified in two set:

  1. Labelling of containers and for workplace hazard warnings
  2. Transport of dangerous goods.

Pictograms gives the following indication:

  • an identification of the product;
  • a signal word – either Danger or Warning – where necessary
  • hazard statements, indicating the nature and degree of the risks posed by the product
  • precautionary statements, indicating how the product should be handled to minimize risks to the user (as well as to other people and the general environment)
  • the identity of the supplier (who might be a manufacturer or importer)

Hazard pictograms and Description: 

Health Hazard: This pictogram is put on a chemical label when a substance presents these health hazards:

  1. Carcinogen–may cause cancer
  2. Respiratory sensitizer–may cause respiratory irritation
  3. Reproductive toxicity–may damage fertility or the unborn child
  4. Target organ toxicity–may cause damage to bodily organs
  5. Mutagenicity–may cause genetic defects
  6. Aspiration toxicity–may be fatal if swallowed and it enters the airways


  • Flammables–which are gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids that will burn or ignite under certain conditions,
  • Self-Reactive heating alone, without air, may cause fire or explosion,
  • Pyrophoric–in small amounts, may ignite within 5 minutes after contact with air,
  • Self-Heating–which may catch fire only in large amounts and after long periods of time when exposed to air,
  • Emitters of flammable gas, and
  • Organic peroxides–which, when heated, may cause fire or explosion; may be sensitive to impact or friction; and may react dangerously with other chemicals.

Exclamation Mark:

It is used on a chemical label for substances that represent the following hazards:

  • Irritant–irritates the skin or eyes;
  • Skin sensitizer–which is an allergic response following skin contact;
  • Acute toxicity–which may be fatal or cause organ damage from a single short-term exposure;
  • Narcotic effects like drowsiness, lack of coordination, and dizziness; and
  • Respiratory tract irritation.

Gas Cylinder:

This pictogram on a chemical label means that the substance is a compressed, liquefied, or dissolved gas under pressure at 29 pounds per square inch or more.



Materials causing skin corrosion/burns or eye damage on contact, or that are corrosive to metals.

Exploding Bomb: 

The exploding bomb pictogram appears on the chemical labels of substances that are:

  • Explosives—which is a solid or liquid chemical capable of a chemical reaction that causes damage to the surroundings,
  • Self-Reactive—heating may cause fire or explosion without the need for air, or
  • Organic peroxides—again, heating may cause fire or explosion.

Flame Over Circle: 

Identifies oxidizers. Oxidizers are chemicals that facilitate burning or make fires burn hotter and longer. 

Skull and Crossbones: 

Substances, such as poisons and highly concentrated acids, which have an immediate and severe toxic effect (acute toxicity).  

Environmental Hazard: 

Chemicals toxic to aquatic wildlife. (Non-Mandatory)

Note: Pictograms will be on the product supplier labels of the hazardous products you work with. They will also be on the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) / MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).