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About the Pictures on the Hazardous Material Labels

Those pictures on the hazardous materials labels are called pictograms and they are a part of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, or WHMIS. They show the user of a hazardous product what type of hazard is present. With a quick glance, you can see, for example, that the product is flammable, or if it might be a health hazard.

Most pictograms have a distinctive red border. Inside this border is a symbol that represents the potential hazard (e.g., fire, health hazard, corrosive, etc.).

WHMIS 2015 Pictograms

The graphics below shows the new hazard pictograms that were introduced in 2015.

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Gas Cylinder

The gas cylinder pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Gases under pressure (Compressed gas, Liquefied gas, Refrigerated liquefied gas, and Dissolved gas)
 

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Flame

The flame pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Flammable gases (Category 1)
  • Flammable aerosols (Category 1 and 2)
  • Flammable liquids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Flammable solids (Category 1 and 2)
  • Pyrophoric liquids (Category 1)
  • Pyrophoric solids (Category 1)
  • Pyrophoric gases (Category 1)
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures (Category 1 and 2)
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures (Types B, C, D, E and F)

Note: The flame pictogram is used for self-reactive substances and mixtures (Type B) and organic peroxides (Type B)


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Flame Over Circle

The flame over circle pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Oxidizing gases (Category 1)
  • Oxidizing liquids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Oxidizing solids (Category 1, 2 and 3)
 

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Skull and Crossbones

The skull and crossbones pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Oral (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Dermal (Category 1, 2 and 3)
  • Inhalation (Category 1, 2 and 3)
 

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Environment (New)

The environment pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • May cause damage to the aquatic environment
 

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Exclamation Mark

The exclamation mark pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Acute toxicity - Oral, Dermal, Inhalation (Category 4)
  • Skin corrosion/irritation - Skin irritation (Category 2)
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation - Eye irritation (Category 2 and 2A)
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization - Skin sensitizer (Category 1, 1A and 1B)

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Biohazardous/Infectious Materials

The biohazardous/infectious materials pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Biohazardous Infectious Materials (Category 1)
 

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Corrosion

The corrosion pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Corrosive to metals (Category 1)
  • Skin corrosion/irritation - Skin corrosion (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 1C)
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation - Serious eye damage (Category 1)

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Exploding Bomb

The exploding bomb pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures (Types A and B)
  • Organic peroxides (Types A and B)
 

Note: The exploding bomb pictogram is used for self-reactive substances and mixtures (Type B) and organic peroxides (Type B)


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Health Hazard (New)

The health hazard pictogram is used for the following classes and categories:

  • Respiratory or skin sensitization - Respiratory sensitizer (Category 1, 1A and 1B)
  • Germ cell mutagenicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 2)
  • Carcinogenicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B, and 2)
  • Reproductive toxicity (Category 1, 1A, 1B and 2) • Specific Target Organ Toxicity - Single exposure (Category 1 and 2)
  • Specific Target Organ Toxicity - Repeated exposure (Category 1 and 2)

Visit the WHMIS 2015 - Pictograms page on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety's web site to learn more.


1988 WHMIS Symbols

The pictograms below were used prior to 2015 as part of a WHMIS system that is no longer in effect. However, workers may still encounter hazardous materials with these labels that display these pictograms, and so they are presented here for your reference.

Class D-2

Poisonous and Infectious Material (material causing other toxic effects)

Class A

Compressed gas

Class D-3

Poisonous and Infectious Material (Biohazardous Infectious Material)

Class B

Flammable and Combustible Material

Class E

Corrosive Material

Class C

Oxidizing Material

Class F

Dangerously Reactive Material

Class D-1

Poisonous and Infectious Material (Material causing immediate and serious effects

Visit the WHMIS 1988 - Classification page on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety's web site to learn more.