Definition - What does Hazardous Substance mean?
A hazardous substance refers to any material that has the intrinsic nature of being toxic, explosive, prone to ignite, radioactive, corrosive or otherwise detrimental to human, animal and/or environmental health. Specific hazardous substances may be defined by government rules and regulations.
Corrosionpedia explains Hazardous Substance
Hazardous substances fall into two main categories:
- Physical hazards. Examples of physical hazards include fire, explosion and reactive hazards. Physical hazards have a more drastic and irreversible effect in the rate of corrosion and general material wear.
- Health hazards. Includes hazards that cause systemic effects (e.g., corrosive, irritant, sensitizer) and hazards that cause target organ effects (e.g., hepatotoxin, nephrotoxin, neurotoxin). Health hazards have a more dramatic effect on humans and the environment.
A substance's material safety data sheet (MSDS) may be examined to determine if the substance is considered hazardous.