February 27th 2020

Guide for Hazardous Materials Classification

Guide for Hazardous Materials Classification

If you are involved in the handling, packing or transporting of hazardous  materials, you may already know that several regulations must be followed to ensure safety. As a shipper, you must start by classifying the hazardous materials correctly. This will determine the right type of packaging and labeling to ensure the shipment has been prepared for safe transportation. In an emergency situation during transport, the first responders will also be aware of the hazards related to the shipment if ever there is a spill or a leak of hazardous materials. As Hazmat shipping experts, EZ-Ship Sofwares inc. understands how important it is to classify these hazardous materials and how to comply with regulations before shipping your products. We have prepared this hazardous materials classification guide to help you classify your materials.

 As defined in 49 CFR 172.101 and 172, there are nine different classes of  hazardous materials. From explosives to oxidizing substances to infectious    substances, we’ll break it down for your understanding.

Class 1: Explosives

Any hazardous material that may detonate or conflagrate due to chemical    reactions is classified as explosives. For instance, ammunition, airbag    inflators and fireworks fall under this category.

Class 2: Gases

Any hazardous substances that may have a vapor pressure of 300 kPa or greater at 50 degrees Celsius fall into this category. They are also    popularly known as class 2 hazardous materials and have three    sub-divisions. Aerosols, compressed cases, fire extinguishers, and propane    are some examples of hazardous gases.

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

 Substances have a flashpoint of 60 degrees Celsius or lower (closed cup) are considered to be flammable liquids. Some of the most common flammable    liquids, adhesives, paints, alcohol and gasoline.

Class 4: Flammable Solids

Readily combustible hazardous materials or self-reactive substances that    undergo strong exothermic reactions are classified under flammable solids.    There are three key subdivisions under this category too. Some of the most    common flammable solids include materials like matches, sodium batteries    and activated carbon. There is also a division for water-reactive    substances.

Class 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides

Substances that have the capability to cause combustion as a part of a    chemical reaction by yielding oxygen are called oxidizers. Organic    peroxides are substances in which the organic radicals have replaced one or    more of the hydrogen atoms in the overall chemical structure. Nitrates and    ammonium nitrate fertilizers are two of the most common substances that    fall under class 5.

Class 6: Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances

Any substance that is capable of causing harm to your health when inhaled, swallowed or when it comes in contact with skin is considered to be toxic. As for infectious substances, these include any microorganisms like virus    and bacteria that can cause death or disease among living beings.

Class 7: Radioactive Material

Hazardous materials that have the capability to emit ionizing radiation    that is dangerous to mankind is considered to be classified as radioactive materials. For instance, medical isotopes, density gauges, and depleted uranium fall under this classification.

Class 8: Corrosives

Substances which, by chemical action, will cause irreversible skin damage,  or in the case of a leak will materially damage the packaging or means of  transport. They can be extremely dangerous if they leak during  transportation or otherwise. Batteries filled with acid or alkali, acids, acid solutions, caustic substances are some of the most commonly  transported corrosives.

Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials

Any hazardous materials or substances that are not classified under any of  the above mentioned 8 classes are considered miscellaneous hazardous  materials. The most common articles that falls under this category are lithium-ion batteries, vehicles, and first-aid kits.

All of the hazardous substances and materials are dangerous and have strict  safety regulations that must be complied with while in storage and in transport. After being classified correctly, it is imperative to have them properly packaged, marked, labeled and placarded to be a safe Hazmat shipment. As experts in shipping hazardous materials, EZ-Ship has developed a visual guide that will help you with this process. Don’t forget to bookmark this handy hazardous material classification guide for all future references.