What do hazard symbols/ CLP icons mean?

Hazard symbols or CLP pictograms are clear and recognizable signs added to the packaging of products containing dangerous substances, such as fertilizers and chemical plant protection products. These hazard symbols or CLP pictograms ensure that transporters and users are aware of the risks brought by the products. This is very important for the safe transport and use of the products. It is therefore essential to be aware of the meaning of the various hazard symbols. For this, meanings of the icons are listed below.

Overview of hazard symbols / CLP icons

Substances with this hazard symbol are corrosive and can cause severe burns and eye damage. The substance is also corrosive to metals.

This hazard symbol is a warning for flammable gases, aerosols, liquids and solids.

Chemicals containing this label are toxic and should not come in contact with skin. Inhalation or swallowing can be fatal.

This hazard symbol indicates an explosive, self-reactive substance and organic peroxides that may explode when heated.

Compressed glass 
This label present on the packaging of a product:
Gas under pressure which may explode if heated
Cooled gas that can cause burns or injuries due to extreme cold
Dissolved gases

Irritating, sensitising and harmful

The meaning of this hazard symbol may range from one product to another:

  • Causes acute poisoning
  • Causes skin hypersensitivity, skin- and eye irritation
  • Irritating to respiratory tract
  • Causes numbness, sleepiness or dizziness
  • Harmful to the ozon layer

This label stands for oxidizing gases, solids and liquids that can cause or intensify fire and explosion. 

Environmental hazard
Products wearing this hazard symbol contain chemicals harmful to the environment and cause water intoxication. 

Health hazard
Substances with this pictogram have one or more serious health consequences:
  • Is carcinogenic kankerverwekkend
  • Influences fertility and the unborn child
  • Causes change in genetic material
  • Is an inhalation allergen and may cause allergy, asthma or breathing problems if inhaled
  • Is toxic to certain organs
  • Danger of inhalation may be fatal or harmful if inhaled/ swallowed

Tip: Print the overview of the hazard symbols to be able to hang it next to the chemical cabinet (make sure to regularly check if the overview is still up to date)

Old and new CLP icons

June 1st, 2015, the EU-GHS introduced new pictograms, which are used internationally. Various old hazard symbols have expired or have been given a different meaning. Please note that products produced after June 1st must be marked with the new CLP icons. Products produced before June 1st, 2015 with the old CLP pictograms on the label could be sold until the 1st of June 2017. Products with the old CLP icons can still be used as usual; no re-labelling is required. 

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