What is a hazardous substance?

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What is a Hazardous Substance?

A hazardous substance is a substance or mixture of substances that are potentially harmful to health.

Hazardous substances can take many forms and include:

• Chemicals

• Products containing chemicals (e.g. adhesives, paints, cleaning agents, printer/photocopier toner)

• Fumes (e.g. fumes from soldering and welding)

• Dusts (e.g. grain dust)

• Vapours, mists and gases

• Nanotechnology

• Biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms

Virtually all workplaces use or contain hazardous substances of some kind. Some examples of hazardous substances include:

• Bleach and other cleaning agents with a warning label

• Wood, grain and paper dust

• Glues, adhesives, solvents and paints • Pesticides and chemical fertilisers

• Medicines and biological agents

• Oils and fuels

• Printer/photocopier toner and inks