I have to admit that the biohazard symbol

is really cool. I was unable to find the answers to the following questions through an internet search:

  1. Who designed it?
  2. When?
  3. Was it ever copyrighted?
  4. Who decides when a design becomes a universal symbol?

That is all.

And most important:

  1. On what body part will Mel get it tattoed?

A labmate has it tatooed on the small of her back and my roommate has it on his ankle. So don’t get one. It’s so played!

Anyways, OSHA has a standard Universal Biohazard Symbol that must be conformed to.

It’s OSHA Regulation 29 CFR §1910.145(f)(8)(ii) (July 1, 1989)

A link shoots me to this site which doesn’t seem to be working. In fact the whole OSHA site seems to be messed up. Maybe it’s not up to code. But here it is anyway:

Hope that helps, you toxic thang, you :slight_smile:

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Looks Klingon to me. Perhaps one of the Star Trek fans can help you out. :wink:

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Thanks, guys.

Believe it or not, I actually wasn’t thinking of a tattoo idea! I just wanted to know who drew it/when and said, “damn, that looks deadly.” And then how that person got it approved by the Man, etc.

That OSHA site is very interesting, though.

No funny comebacks today. :frowning:

Related question I have wondered about. We have the Biohazard Symbol we’ve been discussing and everyone know the fan blade Radiation Hazard Symbol. Is there a Chemical Hazard Symbol? What does it look like?

“Drink your coffee! Remember, there are people sleeping in China.”

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

I used to dig the Brooklyn band of the same name. They platered that symbol all over the city back in the day. I’ll bet a lot of people in NYC had to wonder why the whole city was being declared a Biohazard!

Yer pal,

Satan, that’s sort of the thought that brought me to this question. I was wondering if the band Biohazard had to get permission from the person who designed the symbol in order to use it.

The National Fire Protection Association uses these symbols (Let’s see if this works):





Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Apparently not. I try to be all cool and look what happens…

Just check out .


Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

The corrosive symbol would make a cool tattoo.

In addition to the ones above, there’s a specific symbol which is used on oxidizers; it looks like a letter O (or a bagel) which is on fire.

Also, there’s a variant of the “corrosive” mark in which the effects are shown taking place on a black rectangle instead of on someone’s hand.

The DOT “explosive” sticker looks like a ball which is, well, exploding.

If you want a generic “chemical hazard” symbol you should probably use the red/yellow/blue/white diamond that’s described on the site Alphagene linked to.

There is the DOT system, which labels hazards by the following (placard number, color, hazard):

1: Orange, Explosives
2: Gasses
-red: flamable gas
-green: nonflamable gas
3: Liquids
-red: flamable liquid
-yellow: oxidizing gas
-white: poison/toxic
4: Solids
-red/white vertical stripes: flamable solid
-white over red: spontaniously combustible
-blue: dangerous when wet
5: Oxidizers (all are yellow and have a flaming “O”)
6: Posions/Toxics: includes infectious substances (the biohazard symbol)
7: Radioactive: all white or yellow and white, has radiation trifoil symbol
8: Corrosives: white over black, has the two vials of liquid eating away at the steel block and the hand
9: Miscellanious: materials not specified by the other placards

A nice listing of the placards:

There is also a 4 digit number (called the UN Number) that is sometimes inside the placard. Gives you an idea of what the material is that’s being transported. For example, 1203 is a gasoline type material (there’s a list of possible substances, but gasoline is the most common). You can find out all of the fun stuff about it here:


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

I have the radiation “familiar fanblade” tattooed on my right leg. A question: Sometimes I see the symbol with the yellow triangles up and sometimes the yellow triangles are down. Is there any signifigance to this (do they mean different things)?

My favorite hazmat is Dangerous When Wet.

That’s a scary thought; sit your cup of water down on top of a box, it spills, and you’re blown to smithereens.