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Identifying Hazards

The federal government has established a system of labeling hazardous materials to help identify the type of material and threat posed. The following are some of the major colors and symbols of the different hazard classes:

Hazardous Materials
Hazard Class Color Symbol
Explosives Orange Starburst
Non-flammable Gases Green Cylinder
Flammable Gases or Liquids Red Flame
Flammable Solids Red/White Stripes Flame
Oxidizers Yellow Flaming Ball
Poisons White Skull & Crossbones
Radioactives Yellow/White Propeller
Corrosives White/Black Test Tube

For additional information on labeling hazardous materials, please see the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard.

EPA maintains summaries of information on over 300 chemicals, including their identifying characteristics, health hazards, ecological effects, and methods to reduce exposure to the chemical. Search the Envirofacts Master Chemical Integrator (EMCI) Chemical References Web pages.