Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety

Hazardous Materials

What are Hazardous Materials

Simply defined, hazardous material is any item that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors. Several government agencies have more formal definitions, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Examples of Hazardous Materials Found on Campus

There is no comprehensive list of hazardous chemicals, however the term is generally defined to include any element, compound, or mixture of elements that is a physical hazard or a health hazard (see 29 CFR 1910.1200(c)).OSHA does provide a list of toxic and reactive highly hazardous chemicals which present a potential for a catastrophic event at or above the threshold quantity, that list can be found in 29 CFR 1910.119 App A

Examples of hazardous materials include:
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Automotive fluids
  • Garden pesticides
  • Painter stripper and varnish.
  • Hazardous chemicals can also include items found in teaching and research labs.

What are My Responsibilities as it Relates to Hazardous Materials

Per Policy 11.03 all Departments must maintain a list of hazardous chemicals used or stored within their area. A copy of this list must be available within the Department’s work area, as well as any relevant SDS sheets. These materials must also be provided to Environmental Health & Safety.