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A noxious substance is one that is harmful or damaging to living things. A good synonym is deleterious. See also the OSHA definition of hazardous.

Do not confuse this term with obnoxious which means unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, offensive, nauseating etc.

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Additional Info

Care should always be taken when working with noxious substances. Follow correct procedures at all times.

"Noxious" often appears paired with the word chemical as in "noxious chemical". The term "noxious atmosphere" refers to a contaminated gaseous environment such as airborne asbestos particles or sulphur dioxide gas. The term noxious often appears in the phrase "noxious fumes", as well.

SDS Relevance

Every noxious material should have Safety Data Sheet describing the properties of that material, ways in which it is noxious, and a description of how to prevent and treat the damage the material could do to humans. In general, the greatest threat from noxious substances is inhalation, so engineering controls such as a fume hood and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a respirator are often recommended in Section 8 (exposure controls/personal protection) of the SDS. Ingestion is also another possible route of entry into the body.

Regulations governing the carriage of chemicals by ship are contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL). There is a chance you may see this term listed under under the non-mandatory Section 14 (toxicological information) of the SDS. MARPOL Annex II list four specific categories of noxious liquids: Categories X, Y, Z, and Other Substances.

Further Reading

See also: corrosive, poison, toxic.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

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