Biological Hazards and Threats

Biological hazards and threats, also known as biohazards, refer to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This includes medical waste or samples of a microorganism, virus or toxin (from a biological source) that can impact human health, as well as substances harmful to animals.

The term is generally used as a warning, so that those potentially exposed to the substances will know to take precautions.

  1. Biological
  2. Chemical
  3. Explosives
  4. Radiation / Nuclear
  5. Terrorism


Biological agents are when germs or toxins are dispersed into the air with the intention of making people sick, incapacitating livestock and hindering crops from growing. Many of these agents are difficult to cultivate, but some can be very long-lived, like anthrax spores.

They may be spread through aerosols, animals, and food and water contamination, as well as from person-to-person.

If you become aware of unusual and suspicious substances nearby:

  • Move away quickly.
  • Wash with soap and water.
  • Contact authorities.
  • Listen to the media for official instructions.
  • Seek medical attention if you become sick.