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How to understand hazardous signs on your glue packaging?

Are you a handyman and care about your health and the environment? Do you use products with synthetic components? Let us explain and assist you to make better choices! All you need to do is to look at the pictograms on the packaging of your household products, which determine their chemical properties. This will protect you from the undesirable consequences of improper handling or potential health hazards. Let's decipher the 5 pictograms used on Bostik packaging!

The “irritant” symbol: The most common one

What does it mean?

The "irritant" symbol is one of the most common hazard pictograms. It represents an exclamation mark in the shape of a diamond with a red border. It tells us that some components of the glue may have irritating effects.  

The projection of the glue on organic tissue such as the skin or the eyes can cause itching, redness or inflammation. Prolonged exposure can over time cause respiratory irritation and even dizziness. If this happens, the user should go outside for fresh air, which is usually enough to clear the symptoms. If there is no improvement, the Poison Control Centre should be contacted. The product will be more harmful if swallowed or inhaled. In this case, you should contact the Poison Control Centre immediately. 

How to avoid improper use?

This will seem obvious but let us remind you of the basic instructions for handling Bostik glues with the "irritant" pictogram on the packaging.

  • Wear protective glasses and gloves while handling the glue.
  • Also wear a protective mask to avoid splashing product into your mouth or nose.
  • Keep the product out of reach of children and store it on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet.

The “corrosive” symbol: Beware of skin contact and contact to metals

What does it mean?

The "corrosive" symbol indicates that the product can not only cause burns on the skin and mucous membranes in case of incorrect handling, but also be corrosive to metal. 

The pictogram represents a metal plate and a hand side by side, both damaged by the projection of corrosive liquid. 

How to avoid improper use?

Although serious injuries are rare when handling our adhesives marked with the "corrosive" symbol on their packaging, there is a simple way to eliminate them altogether: Avoid direct contact with the product by wearing protective gloves, heavy clothing, a mask and protective eyewear.

The “dangerous for the environment” symbol

What does it mean?

The “dangerous for the environment” symbol is quite self-explanatory: It represents danger to fauna and flora as it could possibly release some toxic elements. While chemical compounds are very effective and essential to ensure the quality of our manufactured goods, at Bostik we make it a point to honour the environment and we do our best to prevent releasing synthetic products into nature. 

Released chemicals can enter the air, water and soil. Some do not have an immediate impact. For example, they enter the food chain and accumulate or continue to stay in the environment for many years, gradually destroying the fauna and flora. 

How to avoid improper use?

At Bostik, the importance of preserving nature as much as possible is a commitment that influences every decision. The main actions to adopt and to limit the impact of chemicals in the environment are:

  • Avoid releasing and dumping glue or any other chemicals into the environment.
  • Always clean up any spills after using the adhesive.

The “flammable” symbol: For substances that ignite easily

What does it mean?

The “flammable” symbol leaves little to the imagination. It tells us that the product in question contains substances that can be ignited by a flame, a spark, heat or friction. 

Flammable substances come in many forms: Gas, aerosol, liquid or solid. They can be handled safely if a few simple rules are followed. 

How to avoid improper use?

These simple rules involve keeping heat or fire sources away from flammable products:

  • Do not use a sprayable glue near an open flame.
  • Use non-sparking tools when handling flammable glue.
  • Keep the container tightly closed after use.

The “serious health hazard” symbol: Frail people, keep your distance!

What does it mean?

The "dangerous to your health" symbol indicates that the product, due to its components, is more likely to cause health complications if inhaled or ingested. If the user is a person with a fragile health condition, the handling of these products are not recommended.

How to avoid improper use?

Fortunately, by following the rules of use, the handling of these products remains under control: Read the instructions carefully before using your Bostik product. Avoid skin contact with the product. Be sure to wear a sanitary mask when using Bostik products to avoid breathing toxic fumes. Use them in a well-ventilated area. Store your Bostik glue locked up or on a high shelf and always out of the reach of children. Pregnant women are strongly advised against using these products. Take the opportunity to have someone else do the work for you!

How to handle the product safely?

Not all of our Bostik adhesives have pictograms on their packaging. For those that do:

  • Read the instructions carefully before use.
  • Refer to the safety advice on the label.
  • A UFI (unique formula identifier) code is indicated on the product label to facilitate identification of the product in case of a call to the Poison Control Centre.

It is important not to ignore the hazards: You probably won't get hurt, but it is safer to know what to do if you handle the product incorrectly. There is no need to compare hazards with each other or to rank them on your own scale of danger, they all need to be considered. By following simple, common sense rules, there is no reason to harm yourself or the environment. Follow the safety instructions and take full advantage of Bostik's expertise for your domestic chores!