Hazardous substances include chemicals (that people make or work with directly), dust, fumes and bacteria.
Exposure can happen by breathing them in, contact with the skin, splashing them into the eyes or swallowing them. If exposure isn't prevented or properly controlled, it can cause serious illness (including cancer, asthma and dermatitis) and sometimes even death.
- Read specific information about the dangers of asbestos.
What should I do?
If you are concerned that there has been contact with a hazardous substance, or a spillage or chemical accident has occurred, call 999 giving as much information as you can about the nature of the substance.
If you believe that you are suffering from the affects of exposure to a hazardous substance, you should make an appointment with your doctor and contact us online
- If you feel that where you work or visit is unsafe or affecting your health please contact us
- If you work in a food establishment you will need to contact food safety services
Information for employers
Businesses and workplaces producing or using hazardous substances are required to protect employees and others who may be exposed under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
- Read more about how your business should be dealing with hazardous substances.
- For more information about dealing with hazardous commercial waste, please read our page on commercial waste and recycling.
Things to read