All chemical containers must be labeled with the appropriate labeling system as follows:
Below is picture showing the Hazard Category Color System used for our hazard labels. This system is based on the NFPA system. In each category square will appear a number ranging from 0 ( for low level of risk) to 4 (for high level of risk). This rating system is based on the J.T. Baker Saf-T-Data © System.
The Health Category refers to the capability of the chemical compound to cause personal injury due to inhalation, skin contact, eye contact, or ingestion. A rating of 0 means there is little or no risk to one's health from contact likely to occur in a laboratory environment. A rating of 1 means that the compound can cause significant irritation while a rating of 2 implies that the compound can cause temporary incapacitation or residual injury. A rating of 3 means that the compound is capable of causing serious or permanent injury. A rating of 4 means that, without taking appropriate precautions, the compound can be lethal.
The Flammability Category refers to the compounds ability to create or sustain a fire. A rating of 0 implies that the compound will not burn under normal fire conditions. Ratings of 1 are for compounds that require significant sources of heat in order to burn while a rating of 2 means that the compound only requires moderate preheating to burn. A rating of 3 is used for liquids and solids that can be ignited under most ambient temperature conditions and a rating of 4 refers to flammable gases and materials that are rapidly vaporized at normal pressures and temperatures and can burn readily.
The Reactivity Category refers to how reactive the compound is under normal laboratory conditions. Compounds that are likely to explode or react violently with air, water, or other common substances would be given a rating of 4 while extremely inert substances would be given a rating of 0.
The Contact Category refers to how dangerous physical contact with the compound is under normal laboratory conditions. Compounds that are likely to cause severe damage or death when in contact with skin, eyes, or mucous membranes have a contact hazard rating of 4.
Keep in mind the above descriptions are for general conditions and do not cover all possibilities. Take water as an example. Water has a health rating of zero and a contact rating of zero. However, one can kill themselves by drowning and boiling water or steam can be very dangerous with respect to physical contact. Therefore, under certain circumstances, water is deadly. Similar analogies are possible for every chemical. This just emphasizes that a certain level of professional understanding and common sense is required when handling chemicals.