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Law/Legislation

Defining hazardous substances

A "hazardous substance" is any substance that has one or more of the following intrinsic "hazardous properties":

  • Explosiveness
  • Flammability
  • Ability to oxidise (accelerate a fire)
  • Human toxicity (acute or chronic)
  • Corrosiveness (to human tissue or metal)
  • Ecotoxicity (with or without bioaccumulation)
  • Capacity, on contact with air or water, to develop one or more of the above properties.

Check out the ERMA website for further details on Hazardous Substances.

Below is the definition of "Substance" from Section 2 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Substance means:

(a) Any element, defined mixture of elements, compounds, or defined mixture of compounds, either naturally occurring or produced synthetically, or any mixtures thereof.

(b) Any isotope, allotrope, isomer, congener, radical, or ion of an element or compound which has been declared by the Authority, by notice in the Gazette, to be a different substance from that element or compound.

(c) Any mixtures or combinations of any of the above.

(d) Any manufactured article containing, incorporating, or including any hazardous substance with explosive properties.

Actions underway

Actions underway as a result of the Ministerial Inquiry into the Management of Certain Hazardous Substances in Workplaces. Check out the Report's findings (pdf file [size: 154KB ]).