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The hazard of a chemical is the practical likelihood that the chemical will cause harm. A chemical is determined to be a hazard depending on the following factors:
1. Toxicity – how much of the substance is required to cause harm.
2. Route of exposure – how the substance enters your body (inhalation, skin contact, eye contact, ingestion)
3. Dose – how much of the substance enters your body.
4. Duration – the length of time you are exposed to the substance (acute and/or chronic effects).
5. Reaction and interaction – other substances you are exposed to.
6. Sensitivity – how your body reacts to the substance compared to others.
Some chemicals are hazardous because of the risk of fire or explosion. These are important dangers, but are considered safety rather than toxic hazards.
See also: Toxic
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