Top 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dangerous Goods

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Did you know that perfumes, nail polish and adhesives are considered "dangerous goods?" Almost every industry involved in any type of manufacturing and distribution transports materials classified by government agencies as hazardous.

Labelmaster, a leading provider of solutions for hazardous material transport compliance, sheds some light on hazmat materials with these 10 facts you may not know about the shipment of dangerous goods:

  1. Items that can be classified as a dangerous good number in the thousands and range from batteries, airbags, charcoal, adhesives, aerosols, thermometers, dry ice and bleach to dental whitening strips, alcoholic beverages and magnets.
  2. There are 1.4 million dangerous good shipments daily of which 94 percent are transported by highway.
  3. For every five tons of freight that goes on trucks, planes and ships, one ton is a dangerous good.
  4. Three billion tons of dangerous goods are moved by commercial carriers in the U.S. each year…that’s the weight of 500 Hoover Dams.
  5. Fifty percent of all civil penalties in dangerous goods shipping are imposed because companies neglect to train or retrain their shipping personnel according to the required schedule (or at all).
  6. Between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DOD), there are literally thousands of regulations governing the shipment of dangerous goods by road, rail, air and water.
  7. When damaged or short-circuited, lithium batteries can experience “thermal runaway” which is a technical way of saying they catch fire, explode or send out jets of flaming material. The risk, especially on airplanes, has prompted increased regulation of lithium battery shipping.
  8. It’s estimated that the production of lithium batteries will have increased 1,600 percent between 2000 and 2020.
  9. The 2009 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) was the largest ever containing 163,333 pages in 226 individual volumes. The Hazardous Materials Table in Title 49 CFR 172.101 lists more than 3,600 individual items considered to be Dangerous Goods.
  10. In the U.S., when a truck transports dangerous goods, placards must be displayed on the front, back and both sides of the vehicle, and the shipper is required to provide the appropriate placards for the specific type of good.

Shipping dangerous goods is a complicated process that encompasses thousands of rules and regulations. To learn more read our ebook, the Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Dangerous Goods