Dangerous goods are substances that are potentially hazardous for health, safety or the environment.
In order to minimize risks associated with their transportation, dangerous goods are required to comply with some special conditions for their handling, loading or labeling.
Due to their singularity and the specific requirements, dangerous goods’ transportation is subject to a strict international regulation in every transport modality.
They are classified in five categories:
All dangerous merchandise is classified according to its chemical characteristics and degree of danger.
There are 9 types of dangerous goods.
Explosive substances and objects, and substances or objects designed to have an explosive or pyrotechnic effect.
There are different risk levels in Class 1:
Gases include all substances which, under 50⁰C, have a steam pressure above 300 kPa, or are completely gaseous at 20⁰C at a pressure of 101,3 kPa.
To determine the transportation conditions they are classified according to their physical state in 5 categories (compressed gas, liquefied gas, refrigerated liquefied gas, dissolved gas and absorbed).
There are different risk divisions within Class 2:
This category includes liquids, liquid mixes and liquids containing solid, in solution and in suspension matter with a flashing point at 60⁰C, or lower temperatures in closed-cup tests. It also includes desensitized liquids.
There are different risk divisions in Class 3 according to their flashpoint temperatures:
Including substances not classified as explosives which may easily ignite or activate fire in transportation conditions.
here are different risk divisions in Class 4:
Spontaneously combustible substances
Substances releasing toxic or flammable gases when wet
Due to their different chemical properties it’s not possible to set unique criteria to classify them all. They can however be differentiated in two main subcategories:
These substances are not combustible themselves, but can cause spontaneous combustion on other matters, usually by liberating oxygen.
Thermally unstable substances susceptible to self-accelerated exothermic reactions, which can generate explosive decomposition, rapid ignition, or be sensitive to impacts or scratches, react dangerously to other substances or provoke eye injuries.
They are classified according to each substance’s toxicity risk.
They’re divided in two subgroups within Class 6:
Substances able to cause death or serious injury, or may cause prejudicial effects on human health if swallowed, inhaled or in contact with skin.
Substances containing pathogens that can cause disease in humans or animals.
Radioactive material refers to all materials containing radionuclides with an activity concentration higher than the specified values.
Uranium 233, uranium 235, plutonium 239, plutonium 241 or any other combination of these radionuclides.
Natural uranium, depleted uranium, natural thorium, uranium 238, thorium 232, thorium 228, and thorium 230.
Substances which, due to their chemical action, cause serious injuries to living tissues upon contact or, in the event of a leak, can damage or destroy other goods.
For packaging purposes we classify substances and preparations according to their danger: high, mid or low danger.
These are the substances and objects presenting a different level of risks during transportation that the ones explained above.
Class 9 substances and objects are subdivided as follows: