W o r k p l a c e H a z a r d o u s M a t e r i a l s I n f o r m a t i o n S y s t e m
For additional information and resources visit www.whmis.gc.ca and/or www.ccohs.ca
Carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens and
reproductive toxins are regarded as especially
hazardous because they can cause very
serious health problems (e.g. cancer, birth
defects, sterility and genetic mutations) in
workers and/or their children, and because
there may be no early warning signs of the
harmful, and possibly irreversible, effects that
may occur long after exposure.
Working Safely with Very Toxic and Toxic
CONSULT the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
for information about the hazards and necessary
precautions for the material you are using.
UNDERSTAND all of the hazards associated with the
material, including additional health concerns (e.g.
serious short-term health effects or irritation),
reactivity and flammability.
KNOW how to use them safely to protect yourself
ENSURE engineering controls (e.g. ventilation) are
operating. Closed handling systems may be necessary
to prevent the release of the material (dust, mist,
vapour, gas) into the workplace.
USE the smallest quantity possible.
FOLLOW safe work practices specified by your employer.
WEAR the appropriate personal protective equipment
specified for the job. This may include respiratory
protection and chemical protective clothing, such as
an apron and gloves, made from materials that
protect against the chemicals being handled.
REPORT ventilation failures, leaks, or spills to your
UNDERSTAND and PRACTICE emergency procedures
so that you know what to do in case of a spill or other
Carcinogens, Mutagens, Teratogens
and Reproductive Toxins
Carcinogens are identified by their ability to cause cancer
in exposed workers, other human populations, or in test
animals. Many occupational cancers have a long latency
period, meaning t