If you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur or you need to ship hazardous materials for any other reason, you may be wondering what items are considered to be hazmat and need to be specially packaged for shipping. Find out in this quick guide from LPS Industries!
What Are Hazardous Materials? How Can They Be Identified as Hazmat?
Broadly defined, a hazardous material is any material that may cause serious injury or harm to a person or property when shipped. This can include chemicals, explosives, biohazardous materials, and other such materials. So, when shipping hazardous materials, special precautions must be taken, such as the use of special hazardous shipping containers that keep the dangerous product safe with multiple layers of protection.
The best way to identify a hazardous material is by consulting Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that are issued with certain chemicals and products. You can also look directly at the product packaging, which will likely contain a “signal word” such as “Danger” and “Warning.” Danger is the word used for more severe hazards, while Warning is used for less severe hazards.
The packaging may also contain other specific logos and information about the hazards of the chemical or substance. For example, a poisonous chemical will have the “skull & crossbones” emblem, while an explosive will have an orange “starburst” emblem.
Common Types Of Hazardous Materials That Must Be Shipped
Depending on your area of business, there are a lot of different items that may require you to work with hazmat shipping companies to procure appropriate packaging when shipping.
- Lithium-ion batteries – Lithium-ion batteries contain chemicals that can cause a runaway reaction when heated to a certain temperature, resulting in an explosion. While this is rare, there are still restrictions on shipping certain volumes and types of lithium-ion batteries, and proper packaging must be used to protect them.
- Fertilizer – Some types of fertilizer, like ammonium nitrate, are highly explosive under certain conditions, even in small amounts. These types of fertilizer must be properly packaged for safety when shipping.
- Compressed gases – Just about all types of compressed gas, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, are considered to be hazardous since they’re under pressure. Flammable gases like oxygen, in particular, are even more dangerous.
- Flammable liquids – This contains a wide category of products like most types of alcohol and spirits, paint thinner, acetone, some types of essential oils, and others.
- Poisons – Some products like disinfectants, pesticides, and insecticides are considered to be poisons, and will require special precautions throughout the shipping process.
Note that when shipping hazardous materials, you are exclusively responsible for the safety of the materials during shipping. You must purchase the proper packaging from your preferred hazmat shipping companies and secure the items for shipping.
Failure to do so could result in parcel companies refusing to deliver your package, or even legal action if you’re shipping hazardous materials without proper labeling and packaging and fail to disclose this.
Work With LPS Industries For Hazardous Shipping Containers
We’re a leading hazardous material packaging supplier and we offer a large variety of hazardous shipping containers to accommodate just about any hazmat product that you may need to ship. Our containers are double-layered for protection, and our expanded polystyrene (EPS) inserts for bottles and other containers to protect them throughout the shipping process.
If you must engage in the shipping of hazardous materials for your business, it’s important to protect yourself, your shipped products, and your parcel carrier from danger. Contact LPS Industries online or call us at 1-(800) 275-4577 to learn more about our options and see how you can get the protection you need.