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What does the toxic symbol mean?

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Quick Answer

The toxic symbol is a hazardous pictogram that serves as a warning against dangerous chemicals. Toxic symbols are often found on household cleaning products, as well as on antifreeze bottles and gasoline cans. The most common design for the toxic symbol is a skull and crossbones.

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Full Answer

The toxic symbol works well to deter children from accidentally ingesting poisonous substances. The toxic symbol is typically pre-printed on commercial products that have been categorized as toxic. Toxic symbol stickers are also available free of charge through local poison control centers. The toxic symbol is one of many hazard symbols designed to alert danger. General caution symbols consist of a black exclamation point against an orange background. High-voltage symbols consist of a black lightning bolt against a bright yellow background. There are also caution symbols that warn against radiation and bio-hazards.

Another well known toxic symbol is Mr. Yuk. Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Control Center in the early 1970s and was the first recognized poison warning symbol in the United States. The Mr. Yuk symbol is green in color and depicts a face with its tongue sticking out, as if to say "yuck!" The symbol is outlined in black and the telephone number for the area's local poison control center is printed on the bottom of the symbol. Mr. Yuk stickers are available free of charge through local poison control centers in the United States.

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