Common Hazardous Materials
When it comes to hazmat shipping and handling, safety is crucial. There are many precautions you can take to keep every hazmat employee safe. This reference list discusses common hazardous commodities considered to most hazardous based on high rate of exposure and the deaths, major injuries or hospitalizations they've been involved in.
Gasoline - The high rate of exposure associated with this flammable liquid is the primary reason it makes this list. It is highly flammable. To avoid injuries when handling gasoline do not smoke or use any ignition source when nearthe source, only use gasoline in well-ventilated areas and store gasoline in approved containers.
Chlorine - This volatile substance is highly reactive, especially in the presence of heat. Since chlorine can severely damage lungs and can potentially kill people if leaked, its transportation is avoided. Despite its hazards, it is one of the most important industrial chemicals.
Diesel Fuel - Similar to the high rate of exposure associated with gasoline, diesel fuel also has a high rate of exposure. It is used with diesel engines, which are common on many common vehicles including commercial trucks, boats, trains and passenger vehicles. Emergency response workers are exposed to this hydro-carbon based fuel during diesel spills.
It can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, or respiratory system and cause dizziness, headache or nausea.
Propylene - Propylene is a crucial product in the petrochemical industry, used in the production of films, packaging and much more. This volatile flammable gas poses a fire hazard when handled, especially in the proximity of equipment capable of causing ignition.
Fireworks - Transporting consumer fireworks poses a high fire risk. There are a variety of precautions and regulations associated with their transport including the application of appropriate placards, markings, labels and shipping forms.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) - You may know LPG better as propane or butane. It's commonly used as fuel to heat appliances and vehicles as well as in refrigerants. It must be stored in pressured vessels mitigate fire risk associated with the mixture of hydrocarbon gasses. In a fire, LPG has the potential to cause major explosions.
Carbon Dioxide, Refrigerated Liquid - This non-flammable gas is commonly used to freeze or chill food products during transport to market. Its vapors may cause dizziness or asphyxiation and making contact with the gas or liquefied gas can cause burns, severe injury and/or frostbite.
Sulfuric Acid - Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive. It is used commonly used in cleaning agents, fertilizer manufacturing, oil refining and wastewater processing. If it comes in contact with human skin, it can cause a severe burns and inhaling the fumes can cause serious lung damage.
Argon, Refrigerated Liquid - This refrigerated liquid is not flammable or toxic; however, it still poses serious dangers. It is commonly used in welding, the production of fluorescent light bulbs and more. It can cause serious tissue damage if it comes in contact with skin and it can be extremely harmful if inhaled. It's transported in gas cylinders in an upright position to avoid sudden releases of pressure.
Propane - Propane is used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, pottable stoves and residential central heating. Propane is also mixed with butane to make the vehicle fuel commonly known as liquified petroleum gas.
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