Science Safety Symbols

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Science Safety Symbols

These symbols alert you to possible dangers and to remind you to work carefully.

Safety Goggles  Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes during any activity involving chemicals, flames or heating, or the possibility of flying objects, particles, or substances.

Lab Apron  Wear a laboratory apron to protect your skin and clothing from injury.

Breakage  Handle breakable materials such as thermometers and glassware with care. Do not touch broken glass.

Heat-Resistant Gloves  Use an oven mitt or other hand protection when handling hot materials. Heating plates, hot water, and glassware can cause burns. Never touch hot objects with your bare hands.

Plastic Gloves  Wear disposable plastic gloves to protect yourself from contact with chemicals or organisms that could be harmful. Keep your hands away from your face, and dispose of the gloves according to your teacher's instructions at the end of the activity.

Heating  Use a clamp or tongs to hold hot objects. Do not touch hot objects with your bare hands.

Sharp Object  Scissors, scalpels, pins, and knives are sharp. They can cut or puncture your skin. Always direct sharp edges and points away from yourself and others. Use sharp instruments only as directed.

Electric Shock  Avoid the possibility of electric shock. Never use electrical equipment around water, or when the equipment or your hands are wet. Be sure cords are untangled and cannot trip anyone. Disconnect equipment when it is not in use.

Corrosive Chemical  This symbol indicates the presence of an acid or other corrosive chemical. Avoid getting the chemical on your skin or clothing, or in your eyes. Do not inhale the vapors. Wash your hands when you are finished with the activity.

Physical Safety  This activity involves physical activity. Use caution to avoid injuring yourself or others. Follow instructions from your teacher. Alert your teacher if there is any reason that you should not participate in the activity.
Animal Safety  Treat live animals with care to avoid injuring the animals or yourself. Working with animal parts or preserved animals may also require caution. Wash your hands when you are finished with the activity.
Plant Safety  Handle plants only as your teacher directs. If you are allergic to any plants used in an activity, tell your teacher before the activity begins. Avoid touching poisonous plants and plants with thorns.
Poison  Do not let any poisonous chemical get on your skin, and do not inhale its vapor. Wash your hands when you are finished with the activity.
Flames  Tie back loose hair and clothing, and put on safety goggles before working with fire. Follow instructions from your teacher about lighting and extinguishing flames.
No Flames  Flammable materials may be present. Make sure there are no flames, sparks, or exposed sources of heat present.
Fumes  Poisonous or unpleasant vapors may be produced. Work in a ventilated area. Avoid inhaling a vapor directly. Test an odor only when directed to do so by your teacher, using a wafting motion to direct the vapor toward your nose.
Disposal  Chemicals and other materials used in the activity must be disposed of safely. Follow the instructions from your teacher.
Hand Washing  Wash your hands thoroughly when finished with the activity. Use antibacterial soap and warm water. Lather both sides of your hands and between your fingers. Rinse well.
General Safety Awareness  You may see this symbol when none of the symbols described earlier applies. In this case, follow the specific instructions provided. You may also see this symbol when you are asked to design your own experiment. Do not start your experiment until your teacher has approved your plan.
Biohazard  A biological agent, such as an infectious microorganism, that constitutes a threat to humans or to the environment. Wear personal protective equipment when working with biohazardous materials.

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