The 9 Classes of HAZMAT Materials

Hazardous materials (aka HAZMAT) pose unique threats and risks to health, property, or the environment. Examples of HAZMAT include substances like toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and biological, chemical, and radiological agents and may be released as liquids, solids, gasses, or a combination or form of all three. In order to identify the best course of action to safely handle and transport hazardous materials, it’s important to understand the classification system.

Class 1: Explosives

The first class of HAZMAT materials is explosives, which are substances that undergo rapid combustion or decomposition, releasing significant amounts of energy. Without the proper care, these can be extremely dangerous materials to handle to avoid accidental detonation. This class is further broken down into 6 distinct categories based on their properties and potential hazards:

  • Explosives which have a mass explosion hazard
  • Explosives which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
  • Explosives which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
  • Explosives which present no significant blast hazard
  • Very insensitive explosives with a mass explosion hazard
  • Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard

Class 2: Gases

Gases make up the second class of HAZMAT materials, which includes flammable gases, non-flammable, non-toxic gases, and toxic gases. Because their pressure and temperature requirements vary based on the type of gas, it’s critical to handle these with extreme care. 

Class 3: Flammable liquids

The third class includes flammable liquid and combustible liquid, with examples being gasoline and fuel oil. These liquids have a low flash point which means they have the potential to ignite at relatively low temperatures.

Class 4: Flammable solids

Class four is made up of flammable solids which are liable to spontaneous combustion and/or can have dangerous reactions when exposed to air or emit flammable gases upon contact with water. 

Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

The fifth class of hazardous materials includes oxidizing substances and organic peroxides. Oxidizing substances can promote combustion in other materials and organic peroxides are known for being highly reactive.

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

Poison (toxic) and poison inhalation hazards make up the sixth HAZMAT class and these can be incredibly dangerous if not handled with care. 

Class 7: Radioactive materials

Class seven is made up of radioactive materials, which emit ionizing radiation and pose significant health risks. 

Class 8: Corrosive substances

Corrosive substances make up the eighth class and these can cause severe damage to living tissues and materials. 

Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous goods

The final class of HAZMAT materials is anything that does not fit into the previous eight categories. From environmentally hazardous substances to materials that can be risky to transport, these miscellaneous dangerous goods and hazardous materials and articles also require extreme care and caution when handling.

Help in Louisiana handling HAZMAT materials

Safely cleaning, disinfecting, and transporting hazardous materials can be extremely risky and should be handled with care by professionals. Biohazard cleaning companies have highly trained technicians who are certified in biohazard recovery and have all the equipment and products necessary to safely decontaminate and disinfect any space. Additionally, they are experts on the four levels of HAZMAT protection to ensure their teams are as safe as possible.

At Xtreme Cleaners we have decades of experience working with families in crisis and extensive training in handling situations with biohazards. We work thoroughly and quickly to restore your home back to a safe condition and we know crimes are on the rise in Louisiana and accidents can happen at any time which is why we are available 24/7 to provide families the support they need after a traumatic event.  If you or someone you know needs help cleaning biohazards, give us a call at (800) 524-9591.