What Is A Hazardous Material Or Chemical? At one time or other, you and your co-workers have received training on the "Hazard Communication Standard" alerting you to the chemicals in use at your worksite. But everyone should review this information now and then, as a reminder of the need to be cautious. Hazards from chemicals and other materials are everywhere we look-at work and at home. To protect yourself, you should know what type of exposure a particular chemical or material presents. Hazardous materials or chemicals can be classified into two groups, based upon their characteristics, physical hazards and health hazards. Examples...

Dry Cleaner Safety Dry cleaners use chemicals, heat, and steam to clean and press clothing and other fabrics. While helping their customers look spotless, dry cleaners need to be aware of their workplace hazards. The use of chemicals is the primary hazard in a dry cleaner. Almost all dry cleaning is done with perchlorethylene (PERC), a solvent. Inhaling PERC can lead to serious health effects such as liver and kidney damage, dizziness, headache, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking and walking, unconsciousness, and death. PERC is also a suspected carcinogen. To avoid overexposure, use PERC in closed-loop dry cleaning equipment that controls the...

Ammonia Safety Ammonia is a commonly used chemical in commercial and household cleaners. In industry, ammonia is used in petroleum refining, to manufacture pharmaceuticals, to disinfect water, and as a refrigerant. In agriculture, ammonia can be used for crop processing, fertilizers, or as an anti-fungal treatment for citrus. Ammonia can also be produced naturally when stored materials such as manure, compost, or other materials break down. Ammonia can be mixed with water and sold as ammonium hydroxide, or used in compressed gas as anhydrous ammonia (meaning without water). Workers in all industries should know that, despite its common usage, ammonia poses health...