Hazard pictograms form part of the international Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Two sets of pictograms are included within the GHS: one for the labelling of containers and for workplace hazard warnings, and a second for use during the transport of dangerous goods. Either one or the other is chosen, depending on the target audience, but the two are not used together. The two sets of pictograms use the same symbols for the same hazards, although certain symbols are not required for transport pictograms. Transport pictograms come in wider variety of colors and may contain additional information such as a subcategory number.
Hazard pictograms are one of the key elements for the labelling of containers under the GHS, along with:
- 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)
The GHS chemical hazard pictograms are intended to provide the basis for or to replace national systems of hazard pictograms. It has still to be implemented by the European Union (CLP regulation) in 2009.
The GHS transport pictograms are the same as those recommended in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, widely implemented in national regulations such as the U.S. Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 5101–5128) and D.O.T. regulations at 49 C.F.R. 100–185.
Physical hazards pictogramsEdit
Health hazards pictogramsEdit
|GHS08: Health hazard|
|no pictogram required|
Physical and health hazard pictogramsEdit
Environmental hazards pictogramsEdit
Class 1: ExplosivesEdit
Class 2: GasesEdit
Classes 3 and 4: Flammable liquids and solidsEdit
Other GHS transport classesEdit
Oxidizing substances – Substances which, while in themselves not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material
Organic peroxides – Organic substances which contain the bivalent –O–O– structure and may be considered derivatives of hydrogen peroxide, where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals
Toxic substances – Substances with an LD50 value ≤ 300 mg/kg (oral) or ≤ 1000 mg/kg (dermal) or an LC50 value ≤ 4000 ml/m3 (inhalation of dusts or mists)
e.g. nearly everything that contains cyanide groups
Corrosive substances – Substances which:
Non-GHS transport pictogramsEdit
The following pictograms are included in the UN Model Regulations but have not been incorporated into the GHS because of the nature of the hazards.
|Class 6.2||Class 7||Class 9|
|Infectious substances||Radioactive material||Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles|
- Part 1, section 220.127.116.11.1, GHS Rev.2
- Part 1, section 18.104.22.168.2, GHS Rev.2
- Part 1, section 22.214.171.124.3.1, GHS Rev.2
- "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals" (pdf). 2021. Annex 3: Codification of Statements and Pictograms (pp 268–385).
- "Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006", OJCE (L353): 1–1355, 2008-12-31 (the "CLP Regulation")
- UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Model Regulations (Fifteenth ed.), New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2007, ISBN 978-92-1-139120-6, ST/SG/AC.10/1/Rev.15 ("UN Model Regulations Rev.15")
- UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Manual of Tests and Criteria (Fourth revised ed.), New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2002, ISBN 92-1-139087-7, ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.4 ("UN Manual of Tests and Criteria Rev.4")
- GHS pictogram gallery from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe