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We come into contact with hazardous materials (hazmat goods) – or potentially hazardous materials – every day of our lives.

Hazmat (sometimes referred to as hazmat or hazardous materials) are those that have the potential to cause harm or damage to people, animals, property or the environment.

For the sake of companies involved in using, storing or transporting hazmat goods, dangerous goods regulations classify substances within 9 hazard categories. These are:

Class 1. Explosives

Class 2. Gases

Class 3. Flammable Liquids

Class 4. Flammable Solids; Substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances, which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases

Class 5. Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides

Class 6. Toxic and Infectious Substances

Class 7. Radioactive Materials

Class 8. Corrosives

Class 9. Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances and Articles, including Environmentally Hazardous Substances

Within each of the above-mentioned hazard classes there are dozens – if not more – of individual goods and substances. Some that you would expect, including petrol, infectious substances, radioactive materials and aggressive chemicals. There are, however, a long list of items included within dangerous goods regulations that are less typical and even include some common everyday household items., such as paint and adhesives, lithium batteries (used in laptops, mobiles and handheld devices), dyes (found in hair and beauty products) and fireworks.

The severity of the risk posed by the hazardous material or substance will affect any limitations or restrictions placed upon them. For example, hazmat that have high levels of risk may only be permitted for transport in small quantities, or may even be forbidden completely.

When transported, hazardous materials are usually accompanied by diamond hazard labels, which indicate the type of substances contained within containers.

If you’re unsure about your substances, including whether or not they are classed as hazardous materials under DG regulations, or if you are unsure about how to package substances – or indeed anything else hazmat related, then contact us.

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