Hazmat label classifications are essential to the safe handling of hazardous materials. The Code of Federal Regulations defines nine classes of hazmat labels that are used to identify the type of hazard, and these labels dictate how these products can be shipped and transported in order to maintain public safety standards. Hazmat label classifications are useful for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and customers, but also for first responders in the event that an incident occurs while products are in transit. Understanding the different classes is crucial if your organization manufactures products that are considered to be potentially hazardous.
Class 1: Explosives
Materials that have the ability to detonate or explode due to a chemical reaction are classed as explosives and may include anything from fireworks and ammunition to airbag inflators, ignitors, or other similar products.
Class 2: Gases
Gases, or substances that have a vapor pressure of 300 kPa or greater at 50 degrees Celsius fall under Class 2 and are listed in one of three categories. Fire extinguishers, natural gas, compressed air, methane, propane, aerosol cans, and compressed cases are a few types of products that would be labeled as gases.
Class 3: Flammable Liquids
These liquids have a flashpoint of between 60 to 65 degrees Celsius or lower and maybe completely liquid or have solids contained within the liquid. Paint, gasoline, alcohol, acetone, diesel, and kerosene are common examples of Class 3 Flammable Liquids.
Class 4: Flammable Solids
Flammable solids are those that can become combustible during transport, as well as self-reactive substances. Items such as matches, oily fabrics, sodium batteries, activated carbon, and metal powders are a few examples.
Class 5: Oxidizers & Organizer Peroxides
Organic peroxides, as well as substances that can cause combustion by chemically reacting and producing oxygen (oxidizers), are listed as Class 5. These may include ammonium nitrate fertilizers, oxygen generators, nitrates, nitrites, chlorates, sodium nitrate, and more.
Class 6: Toxic Substances
Acids, medical waste, dyes, biological cultures, cyanides, nicotine, chloroform, tear gas, and arsenic are all classified as toxic substances under Class 6 and can be extremely dangerous, poisonous, or toxic when handled.
Class 7: Radioactive Substances
Items that have radioactive properties emit ionizing radiation that is explicitly detrimental to human health, and leaks during transport can cause extreme danger. Depleted uranium, medical isotopes, radioactive ores, fission products, and nuclear waste are common examples of radioactive substances.
Class 8: Corrosives
Substances that can degrade or disintegrate due to chemical action are considered corrosives and can cause substantial damage if there is a leak during the shipping process. Acid, batteries, flux, dyes, paints, and fuel cell cartridges can cause fast corrosion and must be labeled appropriately.
Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazards
There are many hazardous materials that don’t fit into the above classes and are instead labeled as Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazards. These are substances that may be transported at extreme temperatures, magnetized materials, or genetically modified organisms, and include examples such as lithium-ion batteries, dry ice, vehicles, fuel cell engines, first-aid kits, life-saving equipment/appliances, and more.
Why Choose LPS Industries for Hazmat Packaging?
LPS Industries understands the importance of proper and compliant hazmat packaging and takes the hazmat label classifications very seriously. Our packaging complies with 49 CFR 173.24 General Requirements which means that they are designed to prevent the leaking of any material, gas, liquid, etc. Our goal is to provide you with a reliable solution for your packaging needs, and our adherence to hazmat label classifications can help you ensure the quality and safety of your products. Contact us today for more information.