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This hazard class is not included in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and was not included in WHMIS 1988. Therefore, there was no pictogram/symbol that could be adopted from either GHS or WHMIS 1988.
Simple asphyxiants are included in the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012). OSHA did not assign a pictogram to simple asphyxiants. WHMIS 2015 has aligned with the hazard communication elements of HCS 2012 for simple asphyxiants.
The WHMIS 2015 signal word and hazard statement for Simple asphyxiants are:
|Hazard Class and Category||Signal Word||Hazard Statement|
|Simple asphyxiant – Category 1||Warning||May displace oxygen and cause rapid suffocation|
Simple asphyxiants are gases which can become so concentrated that they displace oxygen (or, push out the oxygen) in the air. Oxygen is normally about 21 percent of the air we breath. Low oxygen levels (19.5 percent or less) can cause symptoms such as rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, clumsiness, emotional upset, and fatigue. As less oxygen becomes available, nausea and vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma and death can occur. Unconsciousness or death could result within minutes following exposure to a simple asphyxiant.
Simple asphyxiants are a concern for those who work in confined spaces. These gases are colourless and odourless and offer no warning properties.
Many simple asphyxiants are also classified under WHMIS 2015 as Gases under pressure. Refer to How to Work Safely with - Hazardous Products using "Gas Cylinder" Pictogram for more information on how to work safely with Gases under pressure.