Understanding the Different Classes of Dangerous Goods

When packaging various goods or items to ship, it is very important to know the differences between the nine levels of dangerous goods and how to label them appropriately. Each country has different regulations regarding transportation and dangerous goods packaging, so make sure to do your research before shipping a potentially hazardous parcel. Here are the nine classes of dangerous goods for your notes.

1. Explosives

Understandably, explosives are one of the most dangerous items due to the high levels of gas, heat, smoke, light and sound that they can produce.

2. Gases

Gases include, but are not limited to, aerosols, compressed gases, dissolved gases and liquefied gases. They are hazardous because of the risk of flammability and suffocation that they can create.

3. Flammable Solids

These goods can cause fires through friction, so make sure to label them correctly for safe transportation.

4. Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids are high-risk items for shipping because of their potential to cause fires, usually through vapor. Make sure to properly label these volatile substances.

5. Oxidizing Substances

This type of good can emit oxygen, which might cause the explosion of other goods in transport. Always label these substances appropriately.

6. Toxic or Infectious Goods

If you are sending items that can injure or kill humans through skin contact, inhalation or swallowing, then you must label them as toxic goods. If the items could infect a human with a disease, then mark the package as infectious goods.

7. Radioactive Substances

Goods that emit radiation through radioactive decay should be clearly labeled with a radioactive substance warning.

8. Corrosive Goods

Items with the ability to damage matter through chemical contact are considered corrosive and must, therefore, be indicated as such.

9. Miscellaneous Hazardous Goods

If the goods you are transporting do not fit under any of the above descriptions but are still dangerous, please label them as miscellaneous.

This information is for your safety as well as the safety of all people who will handle, transport and deliver the packages. If you have any questions, consult your shipping company or government website.