Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety GHS Pictograms


The GHS aligned Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) establishes new symbols called pictograms which are required on labels and safety data sheets. Pictogram means a composition that may include a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background patter, or color, that is intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical. Eight pictograms are designated under the HCS for application to a hazard category.

You may be familiar with some of the pictograms while others may be completely new to you. It is important that every WSU employee that uses hazardous chemicals be familiar with the pictograms and associated hazards listed below. Some of the pictograms are straightforward and represent only one hazard, such as the flame over circle pictogram for oxidizing chemicals. Other pictograms can represent multiple hazards, such as the health hazard pictogram for carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive toxicity, etc.

The Hazard Communication Standard establishes new symbols called pictograms, which are required on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). While you may be familiar with some of the pictograms, others are brand new or may be unfamiliar to some people. Some of the pictograms represent one type of chemical hazard (e.g. acute toxicity) while others represent multiple hazards (e.g. carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive toxicity, etc.).

Pictograms and Hazards

Health Hazard
Health Hazard Pictogram
Respiratory Sensitizer
Reproductive Toxicity
Target Organ Toxicity
Aspiration Toxicity
Flame Pictogram
Emits Flammable Gas
Organic Peroxides
Exclamation Mark
 Exclamation Mark Pictogram
Skin Sensitizer
Acute Toxicity (harmful)
Narcotic Effects
Respiratory Tract Irritant
Gas Cylinder
Gas Cylinder Pictogram
Gases Under Pressure
Corrosion Pictogram
Skin Corrosion/Burns
Eye Damage
Corrosive to Metals
Exploding Bomb
Exploding Bomb Pictogram
Organic Peroxides
Flame Over Circle
Flame Over Circle Pictogram
Environment PictogramAquatic Toxicity
Skull and Crossbones
Skull and Crossbones Pictogram
Acute Toxicity (fatal/severe)