This is our friend Hazardous Matt: He’s made of hazardous materials (hazmat), which means that we have to take extra care when we send him somewhere.
He can pose a significant safety risk while being transported, so the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazmat regulations requires that Hazardous Matt and his friends be properly classified, packaged, labeled, handled, and stowed for transportation. This protects workers, emergency responders, and the general public from the risks associated with hazmat transportation.
He’s got other friends, too: explosives, gases, flammable liquids and solids, and more. You can find a list of common hazardous materials below;
- Aerosol spray receptacles (e.g., household cleaners, disinfectants, hairspray, spray paint)
- Airbags and airbag inflators
- Alcohols (e.g., rubbing alcohol, high-proof spirits)
- Ammunition and gun powders
- Camping equipment (e.g., camping stove, kerosene lanterns)
- Car batteries
- Carbon dioxide canisters and cylinders
- Consumer electronics with lithium batteries (e.g., cell phones, laptops)
- Dry ice
- Essential oils (flammable)
- Fertilizer compounds and ammonium nitrate fertilizers
- Fire extinguishers
- Fireworks – consumer and novelty
- Fragrances (e.g., perfumes and colognes)
- Fuels (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, kerosene)
- Fuel-powered equipment (containing fuel)
- Hand sanitizer
- Inks (flammable)
- Insecticides and pest control products
- Lighters and matches
- Lithium batteries, including portable chargers and power banks
- Mercury and articles that contain mercury
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
- Oxygen tanks (medical and recreational)
- Paint thinners and removers
- Refrigerant gases (e.g., liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide)
- Scuba tanks
- Smoke detectors
- Swimming pool chemicals
- Wood treatment products (e.g., sealants, stains, varnishes)
This is not a comprehensive list of hazardous materials. Locate the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) prepared by the manufacturer to determine whether a consumer product is hazmat. Contact the Hazardous Materials Information Center by telephone at 1-800-467-4922 or by e-mail at email@example.com for additional compliance assistance.
Remember: If you ship products, it is your responsibility to know whether those products are hazmat, and to communicate their hazards appropriately, according to DOT’s hazmat regulations.
Often, the first step towards determining whether a consumer product is hazmat is to locate the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), prepared by the manufacturer. This document provides the product’s hazard classification in its ‘Transportation Information’ section. You can often find the SDS/MSDS on the manufacturers’ website or by conducting a web search using the product name and ‘SDS’ or ‘MSDS’ as search terms.
If a product that you would like to ship is hazmat, be sure to inform the carrier when you drop off your package for shipment. If you’re shipping hazmat for your business, check out our ‘Getting Started with Shipping Hazmat’ page for more information.
Remember to CHECK THE BOX and send Hazardous Matt and his friends along safely!