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Chemicals all have different properties and they can be grouped into different categories depending on the type of effect they have.
Some categories of chemicals include:
Flammable Chemicals - These are chemicals such as ethanol, methanol, and kerosene which are highly flammable and need to be kept away from heat and substances that might cause them to ignite or explode. In most workplaces, flammable chemicals are stored in a separate cupboard or cabinet that has been specially designed for them. They can be ignited by many things like sparks from faulty wiring or the use of power tools, naked flames like smoking or welding. Not only is the chemical itself dangerous but the fumes that are released also pose a risk to health or a fire risk.
Oxidising chemicals - Oxidizing chemicals quickly and easily react with other chemicals. Because of this, they should only be stored with other oxidizing chemicals. Oxidizing chemicals can make a fire very intense. Even substances like fertiliser can be oxidising and react to intense or explosive nature.
Corrosive chemicals - Chemicals such as acids can corrode substances. They can also react violently and explosively if they come into contact with other types of chemicals. These also can damage skin causing severe injury. If stored incorrectly, containers and protective barriers can be damaged posing more risk and pollution risks.
Irritants - In this category, the substance can cause an irritation to the skin or eyes. It can be in direct contact with the substance, fumes or gasses given off.
Toxins - These are substances that are toxic if they enter the body by any means of ingestion, injection, adsorption or instilled. Toxins can affect different people in different ways and this can depend on their size, age, build and the amount or strength of the substance.
Explosives - An explosive substance (or a mixture) is a solid or liquid which is in itself capable by chemical reaction of producing gas at a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as to cause damage to the surroundings.
It's is important to know the type of chemicals you are dealing with and therefore the risks they pose. Make sure all chemicals are stored in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations.