Things that are harmful hurt people, or are likely to hurt them. Listening to loud music through headphones can be harmful to your hearing.
Harmful is an adjective that comes in handy when you're talking about things that cause injury to someone or damage something. Burning coal can be harmful to the environment, and eating too much candy can be harmful for your teeth. Harmful words can hurt someone's feelings and harmful actions might put them in danger. The Old English hearm, "hurt, evil, or grief," is at the root of harmful.