Biohazard Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

Biological hazards, or biohazards, are a substance that is harmful to humans and can even be harmful to animals. The list of substances that are hazardous goes on and on, an example would be a virus, any toxins, and microorganisms that may carry a threat to humans and animals alike.

You may have seen the signs in cartoons and in the movies. This sign is common throughout hospitals, especially on the trash can that holds used hypodermic needles. Factories that use any form of chemicals also have this sign. It is a warning to everyone to take precaution when approaching this said area, letting them know that they are in the presence of something that can potentially be very deadly.

This is a sign that you do not want to see or come in much contact with, tattoo lovers on the other hand find it to be a very powerful and cool concept. Down below will be a little history on the biohazard symbol, different design ideas, and placement options for this tattoo.


Back in 1966, there was a company called the Dow Chemical Company. This company specialized in chemicals and chemical making. Starting up in Michigan, this company quickly grew to be a multinational manufacturer of chemicals. It is even considered to be the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world next to its merger company, DowDuPont.

Not only does this company create chemicals and plastics, but it is also a manufacturer of agricultural products as well. When the symbol for hazardous chemicals was thought up, the people of Dow Chemical Company had to figure out a design that was to meet a number of different expectations. The symbol for this warning sign was to be recognizable as its own sign, meaning the design could not look anything like any other ordinary sign.

The symbol had to be eye catching, and unique to the point where when you saw it, you would remember what it meant. The design had to not only be unique, but it was to be one that could be easily stenciled and have a perfect balance of symmetry. Artists had drawn 40 different symbols, and out of them all, the one we know today is the one that was chosen. Now this sign can be seen throughout the world, warning others of the hazardous waste that may be nearby.


If you decide to get the biohazard tattoo, there may be a number of different reasons as to why you decide on this particular piece. For one, it is a neat design, something about it just shouts out ‘danger’. It also looks as if it could be a tribal tattoo as well. If you have any tribal tattoos, this symbol accompanying the tribal designs blends in great.

The band known as ‘Biohazard’ may be another reason why you get this tattoo. Biohazard, the band, was formed in the late 1980’s in New York, they would use the classic biohazard symbol as a logo for the band. Many hardcore Biohazard band fanatics have gotten the symbol of biohazard inked somewhere on their body. This graphic is perfect for the band that is known for being loud, heavy, and thought provoking. It is also a great conversation starter amongst peers. When you go to a Biohazard concert, you will be sure to see a crowd of people sporting this tattoo.

The main idea of the biohazard design is to warn others of infectious diseases or chemicals that are harmful to humans. If you have a dark sense of humor and enjoy getting shocked value out of others, this is a design that may amuse you. This warning sign that is labeled on toxic materials and waste bins tells others to be careful approaching said items. This tattoo can tell others that you are not to be approached, to proceed with caution because you are such a wild card, there’s never knowing what you may do. However, this reason for the tattoo is for pure fun.

Although this is not a normal, a rather peculiar reason so to say, to get this as a tattoo, it is said that individuals with life threatening illnesses and disease that can be spread have gotten this tattoo in a way of telling others. More than often, these diseases would be sexually transmitted, getting the biohazard tattoo on you can signify to others that you have an STD you must warn them about.

It is a cautionary sign to let others know, especially those with HIV and AIDS, that you are carrying this disease and you are infectious. This may be an odd way of going about telling people about your personal life, but it has been proven to work.


The typical biohazard tattoo is the symbol and that is it. If you want to add a little more detail to this tattoo however, adding color is always a great idea. Since the symbol when seen on a sign is up against a bright background such as an orange or red, this gives more of an eye catching response to the brain in order to give further warning. Some people who get the biohazard tattoo incorporate this into the design. Whether you put a flashy background behind the symbol, or make the symbol itself a flashy color.

Either way you cannot go wrong. Perhaps even have the word ‘biohazard’ written above or around the symbol. A tattoo such as this can be placed in a number of different areas. Depending on how large you want the tattoo, choosing a spot to have it should not be difficult. Many times, it is seen on the upper arm, forearm, or even on the chest.

Another creative design is to have a gas mask inside of the biohazard circle. Since the symbol itself signifies hazardous waste, gas masks are a tool used in the handling of chemicals and hazardous materials. Using the gas mask may save your life when around chemicals such as these in order not to breath in any deadly fumes. Putting the gas mask inside or even alongside of this design can further explain what kind of symbol this really is.

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