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I’m Ready to Ship It: What Are Hazardous Materials

Products you use regularly, like nail polish, may not seem dangerous at the outset. However, many of your household products are, in fact, classified as hazardous materials when you choose to ship them.

Research shows that more than three billion tons of materials that are deemed hazardous are shipped every year in the United States. Shipping these materials is risky, so careful management is needed to make sure that they are transported and handled safely.

The question is, exactly what are hazardous materials?

Here’s rundown on the various types of hazardous materials that can be shipped today.

Let’s get started!

What Are Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials include any dangerous goods that require special handling and shipping processes to mitigate risk. These materials include gases, liquids, and solids that may harm people when packaged or stored improperly.

Examples of Hazardous Materials

Several classes of hazardous materials exist, beginning With Class 1 hazardous materials: explosives. These include products that are extremely likely to explode, such as the following:

  • Live ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Dynamite
  • Blasting agents

Class 2 hazardous materials include gases that have been compressed, then stored to be transported. These gases may range from toxic gases to flammable and even nonflammable gases. Examples of Class 2 materials include the following:

  • Lighters
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Canisters containing natural gas
  • Oxygen
  • Aerosols

Class 3 hazardous materials include any liquids that are combustible or flammable. In other words, these liquids will catch fire if they touch a flame.

Additional Hazardous Materials

Class 4 hazardous materials include any solids that are flammable. These include any solids that are dangerous when they become wet, as well as spontaneously combustible solids. Examples of these solids are as follows:

  • Magnesium
  • Sodium batteries
  • Matches
  • Sulphur

Class 5 hazardous materials include organic peroxides and oxidizing substances. Oxidizers are substances or chemicals that cause combustion when you expose them to oxygen. Meanwhile, organic peroxides are compounds that give off vapors that are flammable.

Examples of these substances include the following:

  • Oxygen generators
  • Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
  • Sodium nitrite
  • Potassium permanganate
  • Hydrogen peroxide

IATA DGR Class 5 training can help you to understand how best to handle and transport these types of materials.

Class 6 hazardous materials include any toxic substances or poisons. These can cause death or serious injury when swallowed or inhaled. Examples of these materials include the following:

  • Tear gas
  • Methyl bromide
  • Forensic materials
  • Biological products

Finally, Classes 7, 8, and 9 include radioactive materials, corrosive substances, and miscellaneous materials, respectively. These substances include, for example, X-ray machines and medical isotopes in Class 7; paint stripper and drain cleaner in Class 8; and lithium batteries and dry ice in Class 9.

Master the Process of Identifying Hazardous Materials for Shipment

Some materials that you wish to ship — whether solid, liquid, or gas — may pose dangers to the environment, property, or people. For this reason, it is critical that you understand the answer to the question “What are hazardous materials” before you make your next product shipment.

Consider the above-listed hazardous materials as you plan your future shipments. In this way, you can make sure that you go about shipping hazardous materials in the safest manner possible every time.

Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, check out the rest of our website for more great content.

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