More than likely, you’ve heard or read the term “hazardous materials” (b.k.a., HAZMAT) more times than you can count. Whether you’re at a doctor’s office, the post office, or about to board a flight to the Bahamas, signs reference “hazardous materials” frequently. But frequent exposure to these words doesn’t mean you know which items qualify as hazardous. What makes a material hazardous?
In fact, once you stop and think about it, you probably have more questions about hazardous materials. Are hazardous materials the same as bio-hazardous materials? How do you transport hazardous materials for disposal? Can anyone transport hazardous materials?
If you're looking into how the trasnport of hazardous materials is handled by proffesionals; look not further. We address these questions and more in our blog, so continue reading.
What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are any substance that pose an unreasonable risk to a person’s or the environment’s health, safety, or personal property when a carrier transports said substance through trafficways, airways, or other channels of commerce. Bio-hazardous materials, on the other hand, are waste that stem from coming into contact with bodily fluids and human excrement (e.g., blood, urine, feces).
Therefore hazardous and biohazardous materials are not exactly the same. Regardless, anyone dealing with either substance must take measures to avoid contamination, infection, and the spread of disease.
Types of Hazardous Materials
Pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are nine classes of hazardous materials. They are:
Explosives (e.g., ammunition, fireworks, black powder, rocket motor)
Gasses (e.g., nitrogen, carbon dioxide, helium)
Flammable Liquid and Combustible Liquid (e.g., gasoline, alcohols)
Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet (e.g., oily fabrics, matches, metallic sodium)
Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide (e.g., any oxidizer, acetone peroxide)
Poison and Poison Inhalation Hazard (e.g., tear gas, cyanide, methyl bromide, any poison that poses a risk when taken orally, topically, or sniffed)
Radioactive (e.g., uranium)
Corrosive (e.g., nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, sulfuric acid, hydrogen chloride, sodium hydroxide)
Miscellaneous (e.g., other hazardous materials)
As the list above suggests, most households, companies, and people have at least one hazardous material on their premises or in their possession. If you have an item on the list, it is imperative to dispose of it properly. But bear in mind that anyone disposing of hazardous materials must abide by the federal Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) and the guidelines regulated by The Secretary of The Department of Transportation.
Can I Transport Hazardous Materials Myself?
Now that you know which entities oversee hazardous material transportation, you may ask, “who can transport hazardous materials?” Is it safe to assume that anyone can transport these dangerous substances as long as s/he follows federal law? The short is “it depends.” The reason being that the rules for transporting hazardous waste are extensive.
For instance, you must package hazardous waste in HMR-approved shipping paper. The shipping paper must identify the type of hazardous substance in transit. Identification is not as simple as naming the class number. Instead, you must also include the shipping name, packaging group, and identification number. Aside from correct shipping paper, you should label and mark the package correctly and in legible English.
Additionally, state and federal regulations may require you to use a certain vehicle or be licensed to drive a specific weight of hazardous materials from one location to another. You may also have to undergo training.Therefore, although you may be able to transport hazardous materials yourself, it is not ideal and hardly worth the undertaking.
Not to mention, under the Hazardous Material Transportation Act, you can be fined. Failing to use correct shipping paper and labeling, or causing damage to someone’s property during transit (e.g., spilling poisonous chemicals onto someone’s yard or into someone’s farm) is punishable by law in civil court, penalty being up to $96,624 per violation (or your disobedience of the law results in serious illness, death, severe injury, or substantial property damage–in which, the fine is capped at $225,455 per violation)
Why Should I Use A HAZMAT Service Company?
As stated earlier, federal entities impose strict regulations regarding how to transport hazardous substances for disposal. It is a safer, less stressful option to leave hazardous waste removal (and bio-hazardous waste removal) to a licensed and insured HAZMAT service provider.
Instead of worrying about HMR protocols, our thoroughly trained HAZMAT professionals will ensure that any hazardous waste is removed, the area sanitized, and the waste transported to a HAZMAT waste disposal facility.
Suppose there’s a chemical spill at a hospital. Your hospital may be liable for damages if this spill causes injury to a patient. Suppose you need to transport black powder and ammunition. If something occurs that ignites an explosive reaction, you’ll likely be liable for any property damage and bodily harm you caused. The bottom line is that it’s safer for you and everyone around if you don’t try to transport and dispose of hazardous materials yourself.
Not to mention, if any unfortunate (and unlikely) incident does occur during a company’s transport of hazardous materials, there is less need to be concerned about liability and fines.
Looking for an Affordable HAZMAT Company to Conduct the Transport of Hazardous Materials?
HCI Environmental is an insured environmental and engineering HAZMAT team. HCI Environmental has been in the business of waste removal for fifteen years. Throughout our years, we have proudly serviced the cities of southern California with the transport of hazardous materials at cost they can afford.
You can learn more about our cost-effective hazardous waste disposal by perusing our past projects. If you’d like to benefit from exceptional transport of hazardous materials services that don’t cost an arm and a leg, request a service from us today. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.