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29th February, 2012

COSHH Symbols And Meanings

If you are working with chemicals that are hazardous to health, or completing COSHH risk assessments, you should be aware of the symbols that are included on the packaging of substances. These symbols give you a good indication of the main hazards associated with the substance.

The following symbols are the familiar orange and black COSHH symbols that have been around for years and relate only to the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 - known as CHIP.

These symbols are currently being phased out and will be replaced by new European Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (known as CLP regulation) - the blog post on the new symbols and meanings can be found here.

coshh symbol toxic

Toxic

Chemicals that at low levels cause damage to health.

coshh symbol very toxic

Very Toxic

Chemicals that at very low levels cause damage to health.

coshh symbol harmful

Harmful

Chemicals that may cause damage to health.

coshh symbol irritant

Irritant

Chemicals that may cause inflammation to the skin or other mucous membranes.

coshh symbol highly flammable

Highly Flammable

Chemicals that may catch fire in contact with air, only need brief contact with an ignition source, have a very low flash point or evolve highly flammable gases in contact with water.

coshh symbol extremely flammable

Extremely Flammable

Chemicals that have an extremely low flash point and boiling point, and gases that catch fire in contact with air.

coshh symbol explosive

Explosive

Chemicals and preparations that explode.

coshh symbol dangerous for the environment

Dangerous for the environment

Chemicals that may present an immediate or delayed danger to one or more components of the environment.

coshh symbol oxidising

Oxidising

Chemicals and preparations that react exothermically with other chemicals.

coshh symbol corrosive

Corrosive

Chemicals that may destroy living tissue on contact.

These symbols are being phased out over a transitional period up to 2015 and will be replaced by new symbols. New symbols and meanings can be found here.

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