chemical hazard



We explain what chemical risk is, under what circumstances it is higher, what types exist and the characteristics of each one.

Certain substances or conditions can cause harm to health for different reasons.

What is the chemical risk?

In chemistry, Chemical risk or chemical hazard is understood to be those conditions of potential damage to the Health caused by uncontrolled exposure to chemical agents of various kinds. In other words, it is about the danger posed by chemical compounds and the chemical substances, capable of causing disease, chronic effects or the death.

The severity of sayings risks depends on factors such as the nature of the chemical agents, their concentration, or the weather and the route of exposure to them.

Virtually every reactive chemical has a potential for change in nature (chemical contamination) or in the body of a living beingOnly that some will be more damaging in the short term and others will be, on the contrary, less immediate.

There is a potential chemical hazard in jobs that involve handling of toxic substances, when they are not handled properly, or when personnel lack the minimum basic protections.

However, there is also chemical risk in nature, since the discharge of chemical substances to the environment it takes place at alarming daily rates. And not always nature can deal with them effectively and autonomously.

Types of chemical risk

Laboratories are protected against various forms of chemical hazard.

Chemical risks can be diverse, depending on the effect they may have on living beings, particularly the human being. Thus, we talk about:

  • Flammable Substances that easily react with the environment or with themselves without the need to apply some of the Energy, releasing very high amounts of heat, that is, of caloric energy. They can also release toxic and flammable gases. Generally this is accompanied by the creation of flames, that is, fire, capable of spreading to other materials or living beings. For example: ethanol.
  • Explosives Materials that they react quickly and violently to the combustion, generating enormous amounts of heat, light Y Kinetic energy (movement), either in a controlled and profitable way, or uncontrolled and catastrophic. For example: nitroglycerin.
  • Oxidizing. Substances capable of generating oxidation Violent in flammable or combustible substances, that is, that can generate fire or delay its extinction. For example: oxygen.
  • Corrosive. Compounds endowed with a great capacity to react through oxide-reduction before the organic material, generating an exothermic and highly destructive reaction, capable of producing burns and deterioration without the need for a flame. Corrosive materials can rust the metal or they can destroy organic tissues on contact. For example: hydrochloric acid.
  • Irritants A lighter version than the corrosive ones, capable of producing reversible lesions on human skin or mucous membranes, but which do not completely destroy. For example: sodium carbonate.
  • Toxic. Compounds that possess molecular properties that make them highly reactive with organism, thus causing unpredictable effects on it. For example: carbon monoxide.
  • Radioactive. Atomically unstable substances, whose molecules they emit particles (neutrons, protonsetc.) constantly as they break down into another stable element. The emission of these particles can alter the genetic code and damage tissues. For example: Cobalt-60.
!-- GDPR -->