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5 materials you shouldn’t ship without hazmat consulting
October 21, 2021

Shipping hazardous materials is a safety and legal challenge that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are a few different classes of materials that fall under the broad category of “hazardous materials,” and it’s important to be aware of them if they’re expected to be part of your next planned shipment. Being aware isn’t enough, though; you may not be familiar with all of the necessary precautions to take, or if you are, how best to implement them with minimal expense and disruption to your shipping schedule.

CARGOpak is a company dedicated to helping solve that problem. We offer hazmat consulting to help you move dangerous materials in a safe, legally compliant manner. We boast over 30 years of experience working directly with hazardous materials in a shipping environment, and every member of our team understands that doing things the right way in this particular area is of the utmost importance.

In this blog post, we’ll outline what exactly makes hazmat consulting worthwhile to your organization and five classes of hazardous materials you should take note of before your next shipment.

What makes hazmat consulting worthwhile?

Hazmat consulting helps you complete shipments of dangerous materials in a way that’s safe and legally compliant without introducing substantial disruptions or unnecessarily hefty costs to your process. Specifically, a consultant can be helpful if you:

  • Aren’t certain you fully understand all legal responsibilities associated with a particular type of hazardous material
  • Aren’t certain what should be classified and listed as a hazardous material in your workplace or shipment
  • Aren’t certain you know all the risks associated with using, storing, or transporting hazardous materials
  • Need a way to effectively train your staff in the correct methods of handling and transporting hazardous materials
  • Don’t have documented Emergency and Security plans in place to protect your personnel, clients, and business, and aren’t sure how to go about it
  • Don’t have all correct documentation, including registration, emergency plans, and training records, and aren’t sure how to put this together

You can read more about the benefits of working with a consultant team like us on our Consulting page.

Hazardous materials to keep in mind

A full list of hazardous material types you should be aware of can be found in Appendix B of this document from the University of Oregon. Hazardous materials are typically broken down into nine different classes. These, though, can be divided into five categories by their dangerous properties. The list includes materials that are:

  • Flammable: This category can include substances that are liquid, solid, and gaseous that are potentially combustible under conditions that can occur during transport. Liquid flammable substances commonly include adhesives, paints, alcohol, diesel fuel, gasoline, acetone, and kerosene. Solid flammable substances often include matches, metal powders, sodium batteries, and activated carbon. Flammable gases can include substances like aerosols and propane.
  • Explosive: Materials of this type can undergo a chemical reaction during transport that may cause them to detonate. This category typically includes items like ammunition, airbag inflators, and fireworks.
  • Toxic: Toxic materials are likely to cause serious harm, injury, or death to a human if inhaled, swallowed, or touched by skin. For the purposes of this list, this category also includes infectious substances which may cause a human to contract pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, or other similar microorganisms. This general category often includes medical waste, biological cultures, tear gas, dyes, acids, and other substances like cyanides, arsenic, nicotine, and chloroform.
  • Radioactive: Radioactive materials contain radionuclides and emit ionizing radiation, which is extremely harmful to humans. These materials commonly include medical isotopes, radioactive ores, and uranium.
  • Corrosive: Corrosive materials will degrade or disintegrate other materials upon coming into contact with them. These often include dry ice, lithium-ion batteries, fuel cell engines, and even items like first-aid kits.

Work with the consultants at CARGOpak before shipping!

CARGOpak is home to the premier hazmat consulting experts in the shipping industry, and we’re ready to prove it to you. Fill out a needs assessment form with us or contact us with any questions you may have about our services.

A freight yard full of shipping containers.