Harmful Toxic Material Terms Defined

Before any demolition project is undertaken, it is essential to not only inspect a demolition site for potentially hazardous and toxic materials but to understand the specific danger each material poses. To make this process easier, we’ve composed this summary of the various meanings of the most common harmful material descriptions relevant to human health. 

Highly Toxic
Materials deemed “highly toxic” are such that pose some of the most severe health risks to their handlers if exposed. These materials can prove to be deadly even with immensely low rates of exposure in a short timespan. Some examples of such materials include phosgene, hydrogen cyanide, and sodium cyanide.

Toxic
Such materials classified as “toxic” pose an elevated threat to human health with even small amounts of exposure. In some instances, low exposures have resulted in death. In other cases, permanent bodily damage has occurred upon exposure to such materials. Hazardous materials deemed “toxic” may include such substances as chlorine, methanol, and the like.

Hazardous to Health
Materials deemed “hazardous to health” contain a level of toxicity that is known to result in permanent or temporary bodily injury upon exposure—either immediate or prolonged, depending on the substance. These substances may require direct contact, ingesting, or inhalation for such harmful reactions to occur, but not always. 

Corrosive
Corrosive materials are substances known to cause damage to human tissue upon direct contact with skin and or mucous membranes, such as breathing ways or eyes. Various concentrations may be required for this designation of danger to be evident. Such materials include sodium hydroxide above 2% concentration, hydrochloric acid above 25%, and the like. 

Irritant
Irritants are materials that have shown to cause damage to human skin and mucous membranes in certain concentrations. Some of these may be lower concentrations of corrosive materials, including hydrochloric acid between 10-25% and sodium hydroxide between 0.5-2% levels. 

Sensitizing 
A material deemed to have a “sensitising” or “sensitizing” effect means that a certain substance is known to result in hypersensitive reactions when it has been given time to be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Such material examples include nickel, cobalt, and a variety of diisocyanates. 

Carcinogenic
A carcinogenic material is one that has been shown to promote the growth of carcinomas or other cancerous cell growths. Some examples include asbestos, benzene, and the like. 

Reprotoxic
Reprotoxic materials are such with the potential to cause non-heritable damage to one’s reproductive health. Some such materials include 2-ethoxyethanol and benzo[a]pyrene. 

Mutagenic
A material carrying a mutagenic label is one that has been shown to cause heritable genetic damage—usually damaging the DNA of an organism. Some examples of such mutagenic materials include diethyl sulphate, acrylamide, or ethylene oxide. 

Professional Hazardous Waste Removal in Greater Tulsa
If you need help removing potentially hazardous material in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area, DT Wreck-It Specialized Demolition Services can help. 

Learn more about DT Wreck-It Specialized Demolition Services today.