Biohazards Symbol: Development of a Biological Hazards Warning Signal

Science  13 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3798, pp. 264-265
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3798.264


The need for a symbol to warn of potential infection hazards became apparent during Public Health Service contract work on the development of containment facilities for virus-leukemia research. A program of direct inquiry and a search of the literature revealed that there was no universally used signal and that scientific and safety organizations concurred in the need for one. Criteria for symbol design were established, and final selection was based on "uniqueness" and "memorability." The National Institutes of Health is recommending use of the symbol as a warning of biological hazard.