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Biological, chemical and physical hazards

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Biological hazard

A biological hazard is a hazard that can cause harm to a human or a living organism. These hazards can vary from a microorganisms, viruses or toxins.


A teratogen is anything that may cause a problem with an embryo. It may also cause a complete stop to the pregnancy. Alcohol is a known teratogen. It can cause abnormalities to the child and stop the growth. It may also cause mental problems and retardation. Another teratogen is drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. These drugs may cause brain problems and even cause you to have a gap in your skull/brain or may cause the child to be addicted without trying the drug. One last example would be pregnant women smoking. Nicotine is very lethal when pregnant as it may lead to the fetus having breathing problems and suffocation to death. It may also lead straight to low weight when born and health problems in the child’s future.


A carcinogen is a factor that will end up causing you to have cancer. An example is pesticides for bugs which may cause lymphoma or leukemia of exposed for a very long time. Another example is the air which is filled with many carcinogens that you would breathe in every day. One last example of carcinogen are cigarettes as they contain many chemicals such as; methane, methanol, hexamine, stearic acid, arsenic, and many more. All these are hazardous as they are all bad chemicals bad for the health of a human. These all can lead to a cancer, especially lung cancer.


A mutagen is anything that will cause a mutation to occur. One huge problem is solar UV radiation; this is with us when we go outside when the sun is shining. The thing with UV is that it mainly damages the skin and the cells inside. It may also cause problems with the eye and the cornea will be burnt which will lead to cataracts, which is most commonly seen on the elderly.

Another mutagen is from going to too many X-rays as this will cause your cells to mutate and cause cancer. If exposed too long than this will happen, so it is best not to have a lot in a period of time. One last thing is if you are exposed to a large amount of radiation. This may be from where you work or where you travel to. Nuclear power plant workers must make sure they don’t work too much at the power plant and workers must wear extra protective clothing so they aren’t heavily exposed. Bosses make sure to check each worker to see how much they have been exposed to as the more amount you have been exposed to, the more dangerous for your health it is.

Chemical Hazard

A chemical hazard is a hazard that can be caused through chemicals in the air and on surfaces at the workplace. It may cause short or long term health problems. Some chemicals can be cleaning agents, disinfectants, compressed gases and drugs. The effects can be difficulty breathing or get irritation on your skin, flammable, explosive or affect the environment.

A worker at the workplace may be affected by inhaling dangerous fumes, chemical on skin or eyes, swallowed food that contained a chemical and when you have been exposed to a needle on your skin that’s been accidently injected.

If you inhale irritants or toxic chemicals, it may cause the worker to have irritation to the airways, headaches or dizziness.

A problem with drugs, e.g. Xanax (Alprazolam), may cause significant memory loss, brain damage, lack of concentration.

Compressed gases are dangerous because if they have a break/ crack in the case then it may spiral and burst.

To protect yourself, make sure you are wearing a mask and make sure that you check the compressed gas before using it. Don’t take any drugs as they will affect your health and you may become addicted to them. If you smell gases, make sure you go to someone for help or open some doors and windows to let out the gas.

Physical Hazard

A physical hazard is a hazard that can be caused in the environment you are in and it can cause harm to you. A few examples may be from heat, objects that fall, construction work, etc.

Heat will hurt a human because it may cause first, second or third degree burns. These burns affect the skin very severely. Objects that fall is very dangerous as something heavy may fall on you and cause a broken bone or even death. Construction workers have a hard time because they need to be careful at all times otherwise they may end up injured.

To protect yourself from heat, wear special fire and heat resistant clothes that contain a special material called Nomex and make sure to fully protect yourself so there is full protection. You would need to wear boots with a metal toe cap and a hard hat, different workers have different hard hats, even visitors get a different coloured hat, make sure their whole body is well insulated with the correct clothing, wear gloves at all times, goggles, and for those who are working high up in the sky, they would need to make sure they are wearing their safety harness.

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