Hazardous materials

"Hazmat" redirects here. For the Marvel Comics/Electronic Arts character, see Hazmat (comics). For the protective clothing, see Hazmat suit.

A dangerous good is any solid, liquid, or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. An equivalent term, used almost exclusively in the United States, is hazardous material (hazmat). Dangerous goods may be radioactive, flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive, biohazardous, an oxidizer, an asphyxiant, a pathogen, an allergen, or may have other characteristics that render it hazardous in specific circumstances.

Mitigating the risks associated with hazardous materials may require the application of safety precautions during their transport, use, storage and disposal. Most countries regulate hazardous materials by law, and they are subject to several international treaties as well.

Persons who handle dangerous goods will often wear protective equipment, and metropolitan fire departments often have a response team specifically trained to deal with accidents and spills. These teams train with different organizations at a variety of specialized locations. Some of the most well-known in the U.S. and Canada include the California Specialized Training Institute, the Texas A&M TEEX Academy, Signet North America, the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the U.S. National Fire Academy.

Laws and regulations on the use and handling of hazardous materials may differ depending on the activity and status of the material. For example one set of requirements may apply to their use in the workplace while a different requirements may apply to spill response, sale for consumer use, or transportation. Most countries regulate some aspect of hazardous materials.

The most widely applied regulatory scheme is that for the transportation of dangerous goods. The Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods of the United Nations Economic and Social Council issues Model Regulations on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods. Most regional and national regulatory schemes for hazardous materials are harmonized to a greater or lesser degree with the UN Model Regulation. For instance, the International Civil Aviation Organization has developed regulations for air transport of hazardous materials that are based upon the UN Model but modified to accommodate unique aspects of air transport. Individual airline and governmental requirements are incorporated with this by the International Air Transport Association to produce the widely used IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Similarly, the International Maritime Organization has developed the IMO Dangerous Goods Regulations for transportation on the high seas. Many individual nations have also structured their dangerous goods transportation regulations to harmonize with the UN Model in organization as well as in specific requirements.

Dangerous goods are divided into classes on the basis of the specific chemical characteristics producing the risk.

Note: The graphics and text in this article representing the dangerous goods safety marks are derived from the United Nations-based system of identifying dangerous goods. Not all countries use precisely the same graphics (label, placard and/or text information) in their national regulations. Some use graphic symbols, but without English wording or with similar wording in their national language. Refer to the Dangerous Goods Transportation Regulations of the country of interest.

For example, see the Dangerous Goods Safety Marks in the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

The statement above applies equally to all the Dangerous Goods classes discussed in this article.

Classification and labelling summary tables

Class 1: Explosives

Information on this graphic changes depending on which, "Division" of explosive is shipped.

Explosive Dangerous Goods have compatibility group letters assigned to facilitate segregation during transport. The letters used range from A to S excluding the letters I, M, O, P, Q and R. The example above shows an explosive with a compatibility group "A" (shown as 1.1A). The actual letter shown would depend on the specific properties of the substance being transported.

For example, the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations provides a description of compatibility groups.
  • 1.1 Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
  • Ex: TNT, dynamite, nitroglycerine.
  • 1.2 Explosives with a severe projection hazard.
  • 1.3 Explosives with a fire, blast or projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard.
  • 1.4 Minor fire or projection hazard (includes ammunition and most consumer fireworks).
  • 1.5 An insensitive substance with a mass explosion hazard (explosion similar to 1.1)
  • 1.6 Extremely insensitive articles.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates hazmat transportation within the territory of the US.

1.1 — Explosives with a mass explosion hazard. (nitroglycerin/dynamite)
1.2 — Explosives with a blast/projection hazard.
1.3 — Explosives with a minor blast hazard. (rocket propellant, display fireworks)
1.4 — Explosives with a major fire hazard. (consumer fireworks, ammunition)
1.5 — Blasting agents.
1.6 — Extremely insensitive explosives.

Class 2: Gases

Gases which are compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure as detailed below. Some gases have subsidiary risk classes; poisonous or corrosive.
  • 2.1 Flammable gas
  • Gases which ignite on contact with an ignition source.
  • Ex: acetylene, hydrogen.
  • 2.2 Non-Flammable Gases
  • Gases which are neither flammable nor poisonous.
  • Ex: nitrogen, neon.
Includes the cryogenic gases/liquids (temperatures of below -100 °C) used for cryopreservation and rocket fuels.

Class 3: Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids included in Class 3 are included in one of the following packing groups:
  • Packing Group I, if they have an initial boiling point of 35°C or less at an absolute pressure of 101.3 kPa and any flash point;
  • Ex: diethyl ether, carbon disulfide.
  • Packing Group II, if they have an initial boiling point greater than 35°C at an absolute pressure of 101.3 kPa and a flash point less than 23°C; or
  • Ex: gasoline (petrol), acetone.
  • Packing Group III, if the criteria for inclusion in Packing Group I or II are not met.
  • Ex: kerosene, diesel.
Note: For further details, check the Dangerous Goods Transportation Regulations of the country of interest.

Class 4: Flammable solids

  • 4.3 Substances which emit a flammable gas when wet or react violently with water.
  • Ex: sodium, calcium, potassium.

Class 5: Oxidizing Agents & Organic Peroxides

Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

  • 6.2 Biohazardous substances.
  • Ex: virus cultures, pathology specimens, used intravenous needles.
Divided into two categories by the WHO: Cat. A (infectious) and Cat. B (samples).

Class 7: Radioactive Substances

  • Radioactive substances comprise substances or a combination of substances which emit ionizing radiation.
  • Ex: uranium, plutonium.

Class 8: Corrosive Substances

Solids or liquids that can dissolve organic tissue or severely corrode certain metals.

Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances

Other hazardous materials labels (CHIP)

Xn, harmful, Xi, Irritant
T, toxic
C, corrosive
O, oxidizing
F, flammable
E, explosive
N, environmental hazard


Uses the standard international UN numbers with a few slightly different signs on the back, front and sides of vehicles carrying hazardous substances. Uses the same "HAZCHEM" as the UK HAZCHEM Code to provide advisory information to emergency services personnel in the event of an emergency situation.


Transportation of dangerous goods (hazardous materials) in Canada by road is normally a provincial jurisdiction. The federal government has jurisdiction over air, most marine, and most rail transport. The federal government acting centrally created the federal transportation of dangerous goods act and regulations, which provinces adoped in whole or in part via provincial transportation of dangerous goods legislation. The result is that all provinces use the federal regulations as their standard within their province; some small variances can exist because of provincial legislation. Creation of the federal regulations was coordinated by Transport Canada. Hazard classifications are based upon the UN Model.

The province of Nova Scotia's dangerous goods transportation act can be viewed at: [1]

The province of Nova Scotia's dangerous goods transportation regulationscan can be viewed at:


The European Union has passed numerous directives and regulations to avoid the dissemination and restrict the usage of hazardous substances, the most famous being the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and the REACH directive. There are also long standing European treaties such as ADR and RID that regulate the transportation of hazardous materials by road, rail, river and inland waterways, following the guide of the UN Model Regulation.

United States

Enlarge picture
A picture of the U.S. DOT classes in use.
Due to the increased threat of terrorism in the early 21st century, funding for greater HAZMAT-handling capabilities was increased throughout the United States, in recognition of the fact that flammable, poisonous, explosive, or radioactive substances in particular could make attractive weapons for terrorist attacks.

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates hazmat transportation within the territory of the US. The regulations are found in 49 CFR (Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations).

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the handling of hazardous materials in the workplace as well as response to hazardous materials-related incidents, most notably through HAZWOPER (HAZ-ardous W-aste OP-erations and E-mergency R-esponse) regulations found at 29 CFR 1910.120.

The Environmental Protection Agency regulates hazardous materials as they may impact the community and environment, including specific regulations for environmental cleanup and for handling and disposal of waste hazardous materials.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates hazardous materials that may be used in products sold for household and other consumer uses.

Hazard classes for materials in transport

Following the UN Model, the DOT divides regulated hazardous materials into nine classes, some of which are further divided into divisions. Hazardous materials in transportation must be placarded and have specified packaging and labelling. Some materials must always be placarded, others may only require placarding in certain circumstances.

Trailers of goods in transport are usually marked with a four digit UN (United Nations) number. This number can be referenced by first responders (Firefighters, Police Officers, and ambulance personnel) who can find information about the material in the Emergency Response Guidebook.

Fixed facilities

Different standards usually apply for handling and marking HAZMATs at fixed facilities, including NFPA 704 diamond markings (a consensus standard often adopted by local governmental jurisdictions), OSHA regulations requiring chemical safety information for employees, and CPSC requirements requiring informative labeling for the public, as well as wearing Hazmat suits when handling hazardous materials.

See also

External links

Marvel Comics

A subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment
Founded 1939 by Martin Goodman, as Timely Comics
Headquarters 417 5th Avenue, New York City, New York

Key people Joe Quesada, Editor-in-chief
Dan Buckley, Publisher, C.O.O.
..... Click the link for more information.
Electronic Arts, Inc

Public (NASDAQ:  ERTS )
Founded 1982
Headquarters Redwood City, California, United States

Key people Trip Hawkins, Founder and CEO to 1991
Larry Probst, current chairman of the board and CEO from 1991-2007
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Hazmat (Keith Kilham) is a fictional character created by Electronic Arts, in conjunction with Marvel Comics, in their first attempt to bring Marvel heroes to a video game platform, .
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hazmat suit is a fully encapsulating garment worn as protection from hazardous materials or substances. A Hazmat suit is generally combined with breathing apparatus or protection and may be used by firefighters, emergency personnel responding to toxic spills,
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A solid object is in the states of matter characterized by resistance to deformation and changes of volume. At the microscopic scale, a solid has these properties :
  • The atoms or molecules that comprise the solid are packed closely together.

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Liquid is one of the four principal states of matter. A liquid is a fluid that can freely form a distinct surface at the boundaries of its bulk material.


A liquid's shape is determined by, not confined to, the container it fills.
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Gas is one of the four major states of matter, consisting of freely moving atoms or molecules without a definite shape. Compared to the solid and liquid states of matter a gas has lower density and a lower viscosity.
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  • Chromalveolata
  • Heterokontophyta
  • Haptophyta
  • Cryptophyta
  • Alveolata

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  • Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. This decay, or loss of energy, results in an atom of one type, called the parent nuclide
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    Inflammability is the ease with which a substance will ignite, causing fire or combustion. Materials that will ignite at temperatures commonly encountered are considered inflammable, with various specific definitions giving a temperature requirement.
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    explosive material is a material that either is chemically or otherwise energetically unstable or produces a sudden expansion of the material usually accompanied by the production of heat and large changes in pressure (and typically also a flash and/or loud noise) upon initiation;
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    Toxicity is the degree to which something is able to produce illness or damage to an exposed organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as a human or a bacterium or a plant, or to a substructure, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or an organ (organotoxicity
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    A corrosive substance is one that will destroy or irreversibly damage a substance, including living tissue, by chemical action (rapid corrosion of living tissue). The main hazards to people include damage to eyes, skin and tissue under the skin, but inhalation or ingestion of a
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    Builder: Carlo Bertocchini
    Weight class: Heavyweight
    Weapon: Actuated lifting arm
    Drive type: Electric
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    Tournament wins: 6
    Rumble wins: 2
    BattleBots rank: 1
    Botrank.com historic rank: 2
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    oxidizing agent (also called an oxidant or oxidizer) is
    1. A chemical compound that readily transfers oxygen atoms or
    2. A substance that gains electrons in a redox chemical reaction.
    The former definition is not applicable to what most people read about.
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    Classification & external resources

    ICD-10 R 09.0 , T 71.
    ICD-9 799.0

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    A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host.[1] The term is most often used for agents that disrupt the normal physiology of a multicellular animal or plant.
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    Sensitivities vary from one person to another and it is possible to be allergic to an extraordinary range of substances.

    Types of allergies

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    Transport or transportation is the movement of people and goods from one place to another. The term is derived from the Latin trans ("across") and portare ("to carry").
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    Storage may refer to:
    • Special buildings, or collections of buildings, designed to hold large objects, or a great many objects of a particular type:

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    fire station is a structure or other area set aside for storage of firefighting apparatus (i.e, fire engines and related vehicles), personal protective equipment, firehose, fire extinguishers, and other firefighting equipment.
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    United Nations Economic and Social Council

    The room of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. UN headquarters, New York
    Org type: Primary Organ
    Acronyms: ECOSOC
    Head: President of ECOSOC (one year term)
    As of 2007:

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    International Civil Aviation Organization

    The ICAO flag

    Formation April 1947
    Headquarters Montreal, Canada
    Membership 190 member states
    Official languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
    Secretary General Taïeb Chérif
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    International Air Transport Association is an international industry trade group of airlines headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the ICAO also happens to be headquartered, even though they are different entities.
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    The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in 1948 through the United Nations to coordinate international maritime safety and related practices.
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    explosive material is a material that either is chemically or otherwise energetically unstable or produces a sudden expansion of the material usually accompanied by the production of heat and large changes in pressure (and typically also a flash and/or loud noise) upon initiation;
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    Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a chemical compound with the formula C6H2(NO2)3CH3. This yellow-coloured solid is a reagent (reactant) in chemistry but is best known as a useful explosive material with convenient handling
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    Dynamite is an explosive based on the explosive potential of nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth (kieselguhr) as an adsorbent. It was invented by Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in 1866 in Krümmel (Geesthacht, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) and patented in
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    Nitroglycerin (NG), also known as nitroglycerine, trinitroglycerin, and glyceryl trinitrate, is a chemical compound. It is a heavy, colorless, oily, explosive liquid obtained by nitrating glycerol.
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    United States Department of Transportation

    Seal of the Department of Trasportation
    Agency overview
    Formed April 1, 1967

    Jurisdiction United States of America
    Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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