Which products other than windshield wiper fluid which contains methanol have the skull and crossbones danger?

poison stamp on them? Include pesticides and any other type of product. Toxicology question. Thank you.

Answers:

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In the US, pesticides and their labels are regulated by the US EPA. There are many toxicity categories (reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity, acute toxicity, cholinesterase inhibition, et cetera) and many toxicity severities. Pesticides only have the skull and crossbones symbol if they have "severe acute toxicity" which means that they will immediately cause you harm (see first link in sources). Pesticides that cause you harm over a longer period of use or effect (e.g., a carcinogen), would not have to have the skull and crossbones, unless of course they happened to also be severely acutely toxic.

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One amusing consequence is that the exact same product that carries the skull and crossbones, if reformulated in a diluted form, might not carry the skull and crossbones because it is not as toxic at that concentration. So if a product contains methanol at 4%, and had the skull and crossbones, it could be diluted in half so that it only contains 2% methanol, and then it wouldn't have to have the skull and crossbones. This is amusing insofar as you would probably have to use twice as much of the product. However, it is sensible from the regulatory standpoint, because storage and handling of the less concentrated product is less dangerous.

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I am not familiar with the rules for applying the skull and crossbones to non-pesticide products (such as automotive products), or even which agency regulates them, let alone how they are regulated in other countries. However, I do know that an international standard for regulating toxic chemicals has enough momentum that it will probably be adopted in many markets. It is known as the "Globally Harmonized Standard." Try the second link in the sources for a starting point on the details of that standard, which includes symbols in its labeling.
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