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Hazards and Risks-Lesson Plan 1

Hazards and Risks – Lesson Plan

Discuss opening statement (5 min)

Water vs Acid, which has the greater risk?

Imagine that you have a 6 L of water and a shot glass of concentrated acid in front of
you. You are dared to drink all of one of these liquids as fast as you can. Your intuition at
this point should tell you that the acid is hazardous and you should not drink it. However,
does that mean 6 L of water is not a hazard? Are other items we normally classify as “non-
hazardous” really completely benign?

Guiding Question(s)
 Generate a list of hazardous and non-hazardous materials
 What makes the “non-hazardous” materials “safer” than the “hazardous” ones?

Hazards: What is out there? (20 min)

Hazards and Risks-Lesson Plan 2

Guiding Question(s)
 Are there categories of hazards?
 Do we have ways of communicating these hazards to the people?

Important Points
 There are many different categories but a common system includes:
o Life
o Health
 Cancer causing
 Toxicity
o Environment
o Property
 A very common representation of is NFPA 704, or the “fire diamond”
o Health Hazards (blue)
o Fire Hazards (red)
o Reactivity Hazards (yellow)
o Misc. hazards (white)
 There are also many other symbols that indicate hazards from the GHS
o Explosive
o Flammable
o Compressed Gas
o Corrosive
o Toxic
o Harmful
o Health Hazard
o Environmental Hazard
o Radioactive

Group Check (5 min)

Self-Check 1:

Generate a list of common hazards and sort them into their respective categories. Also,
consider the rank of the hazard (i.e. which hazard is worse)
Hazards and Risks-Lesson Plan 3

Risks: Are all hazards created equal? (20 min)


Period of consumption/interaction


𝑅𝑖𝑠𝑘 = 𝑓(ℎ𝑎𝑧𝑎𝑟𝑑, 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒)

Guiding Questions
 What factors should be considered when looking at the “risk” associated with a particular
 What about mixtures? Say coffee, which will kill you the water or the caffeine?

Important Points

 The nature of the hazard should be considered along with the exposure to that hazard
o Given a constant hazard, reduced exposure lowers the risk
o Given constant exposure, a weaker hazard lowers the risk
 Given for a 75 kg human, the LD50 is ~15 g for caffeine and ~6 L (~6,000g), if the
source of caffeine is coffee, you’ll need about 100 cups of coffee. But you’ll die from the
water before the caffeine.

Self-Check 2:

List some common mixtures and provide LD50 for the mixture and the individual
components and estimate the probable cause of death.