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How To Ship Hazardous Material

Apr 13, 2008
There have been a lot of inquiries into how to ship hazardous material and questioning whether you can ship it at all with today's transportation laws. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) heavily regulates the transportation of materials in the United States.

The specific regulations define hazardous materials and specify how to conduct practically every aspect of hazardous material shipping. The shipping of hazardous materials can pose a serious danger to anyone who might come in contact with the shipment. The inappropriate shipping of hazardous materials is a serious problem that can result in injury, loss of life, major fines, jail time, and damage to property. Therefore, it is critical that one carefully follow the rules so that any possible unsafe condition is minimized.

The D.O.T. can and does impose severe penalties for anyone who knowingly or unknowingly violates these regulations. Packages that contain hazardous materials need to be properly labeled for shipping and the label designates the type of hazard the material presents. Hazardous material items that are commonly shipped incorrectly are aerosol cans, cosmetics, perfumes, nail polish, lipsticks, alcohol, products containing alcohol such as cleaning products and even alcoholic beverages are considered dangerous. The following are the officially designated hazard categories:

o 1.1 - EXPLOSIVES 1.1
o 1.2 - EXPLOSIVES 1.2
o 1.3 - EXPLOSIVES 1.3
o 1.4 - EXPLOSIVES 1.4
o 1.5 - EXPLOSIVES 1.5
o 1.6 - EXPLOSIVES 1.6
o 2.1 - FLAMMABLE GAS
o 2.2 - NONFLAMMABLE GAS
o 2.3 - POISON GAS
o 3 - FLAMMABLE LIQUID
o 4.1 - FLAMMABLE SOLID
o 4.2 - SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE
o 4.3 - DANGEROUS WHEN WET
o 5.1 - OXIDIZER
o 5.2 - ORGANIC PEROXIDE
o 6.1 - POISON INHALATION HAZARD (zone A or B)
o 6.1 - POISON (other than inhalation hazard)
o 6.2 - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE
o 7 - RADIOACTIVE WHITE-I
o 7 - RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II
o 7 - RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III
o 7 - EMPTY (empty packages of radioactives)
o 8 - CORROSIVE
o 9 - CLASS 9

D.O.T. shipping labels are available for all of these categories. These shipping labels are 4"x 4" and come on rolls of 500, have semi gloss face stock, permanent adhesive, and come on a 1" inch core. They also have the ability to custom make these labels to have a special blank white region to write your own personal messages or instruction on. This region does not come on the stock labels. It has to be requested and it can be requested blank or with a message preprinted.

If your application calls for a little more durable label, there are several material solutions for you. They can offer several different films such as polyester, Kimdura, and polypropylene. These materials will withstand water, chemicals, UV rays, and other environmental factors that paper will not.

These special materials are not stock and would have to be custom made by most manufacturers. They would also have a 7-10 business day lead time. FedEx and UPS both offer shipping methods for hazardous material. They also offer guides that explain their rules and regulations for shipping these products.

Shipping hazardous material can be quick and easy as long as the appropriate steps are taken. Knowing how to ship hazardous material the correct way is important. Please pass this information to those that are interested in this topic.
About the Author
John Barth founded Adazon Barcode Labels and Barcode Equipment www.adazonusa.com in 2003 and has a wealth of information in the barcode arena from over 20 years of experience in distribution. John's experience allows companies to cut costs on shipping labels, custom labels and total barcode solutions. For more information call 847-235-2700.
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