This term has a legal meaning within the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.
In summary, it covers substances or preparations carrying the very toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant symbol, risk phrases; substances and products with occupational exposure limits known as workplace exposure limits, biological agents, dusts of any kind that have a concentration in air equal to or greater than 10 mg/m3 (inhalable) and 4 mg/m3 (respirable); and substances whose chemical or toxic properties and the way they are used or produced create a risk to health (eg ‘wet work’).
Many materials will have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), this is often a good place to start when unsure of the risk and should be part of the risk assessment.
The full document is available on the following link http://www.hse.gov.uk/skin/professional/legal.htm
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