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What Are Hazardous Products?

February 24, 2021 Published by

hazardous products

When you think about hazardous products, what comes to mind? You may be thinking about nuclear warheads and toxic chemicals, but items like hair spray and dry shampoo should be included in this picture also. The truth is many everyday items are considered dangerous goods and ecommerce businesses selling hazardous materials need to be ready to meet all the shipping challenges they pose.

Read on to learn what hazardous products are and how they are divided into HAZMAT product classes.

What is a Hazardous Material?

A hazardous material is a liquid, gas, or solid with the potential to harm people, other living organisms, the environment, or property if it is not properly, shipped, stored, or handled.

To determine which items might be considered hazardous, you ought to know and understand the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) HAZMAT classes.

What Are The DOT HAZMAT Classes?

The U.S. Department of Transportation defines hazardous materials in accordance with Federal Hazardous Material Law regulations. Here is a list of HAZMAT classes set by the DOT:

Class 1: Explosives

Products in this class are likely to explode in certain situations.  Examples of Class 1 HAZMAT products include fireworks, air bag inflators, and gun powder.

Class 2: Gases

Class 2 products contain gases that are dangerous when they are inhaled or makes contact with a surface. Example items include bathroom sprays, spray cosmetics, scuba tanks, and propane tanks.

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

Class 3 liquids ignite if they contact fire. Examples include nail polish, oil-based paints, varnish, and gasoline.

Class 4: Flammable Solids

These are solid items that ignite if they make contact with fire. For example: Coal, fish oil, sodium batteries, matches, and sulfur.

Class 5: Oxidizers & Organic Peroxides

These items readily yield oxygen in reaction, thus causing or enhancing combustion.

Examples include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, sodium nitrate, and chlorine.

Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

Items in this class can cause serious injury or death to humans if they are inhaled or swallowed. Infectious substances carry pathogens (viruses, fungi, bacteria, etc.)

Examples include arsenic, pesticides, and biomedical waste.

Class 7: Radioactive Material

These are any materials or combination of materials that spontaneously give off ionizing radiation. Class 7 product examples include radioactive medicines, X-ray machines, medical isotopes, and depleted uranium.

Class 8: Corrosives

Corrosives are materials, liquids or solids that can cause an irreversible alteration to or visibly destroy human, or a liquid that can severely corrode aluminum or steel.

Class 8 HAZMAT product examples include sodium hydroxide, drain cleaners, paint strippers, hydrochloric acid, and mercury thermometers.

Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials

Class 9 products are materials that are not included in a hazardous freight classification, but it can still pose a hazard during transport.

Some examples include first-aid kits, vehicles, dry ice, and lithium-ion batteries.

Understanding HAZMAT Classes Is Vital

Understanding HAZMAT product classes is crucial if you want to ship any items that are defined as hazardous. If you’ve identified your products to be hazardous, make sure to research the proper HAZMAT shipping procedures to deliver them successfully.