Are my goods Dangerous? The 9 Classes of DG

Mon Mar 15 2021 18:30:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Can I ship that? Is it considered dangerous? What are Dangerous Goods? These three questions must definitely have crossed the minds of anyone planning to send goods overseas.

Dangerous goods or DG for short, have certain caveats associated with their handling and forwarding and problems often arise due to the unfamiliarity. In order to ensure that no hitches occur during conveyance of these goods, let’s take a look at what are classified as DG and the 9 types of DG.

What are Dangerous Goods?

Simply put, any substance that has the potential to cause harm to property, environment or health and safety of individuals can be classified as a dangerous good. Moreover, the danger posed is often due to improper packing or handling. Contrary to common belief, DG are not immediately apparent. Many everyday objects like deodorants and batteries are also dangerous goods. Thus, determining a dangerous good requires some deliberation.

Here are the 9 classes of DG as per international standards.

Class 1: Explosives

An explosive is a compound that can release high amounts of energy owing to sudden change of state to a gas. Explosives carry tremendous amounts of stored potential energy and are released as heat, sound, light and pressure. Therefore, these reactions are extremely dangerous with the effects of the explosives far outpacing its relatively small size. Explosives are generally made to be stable for this reason. A physical shock is the most common reason why explosives are set off. Thus, they need to be packed in such a way that they won’t be subjected to jerks and jolts.

Class 2: Gases

Gases are transported long distances in pressurized containers in order to optimize space. The dangers presented by gases are often due to its toxicity or flammability. There is also the likelihood of an explosion due to the pressure. These are the reasons why gases fall under the DG category. Safety hazards are caused by inhalation or burns. The primary factor to ensure its safe passage are the storage containers. These containers need to be sturdy and leak proof to prevent any incidents.

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

The most commonly transported flammable liquid are those derived from crude oil. More than the liquid themselves, it is the vapor they produce that can lead to mass explosions when ignited. Professionals with specialised training are required to handle flammable liquids in order to avoid unfortunate incidents.

Class 4: Flammable Solids

Solid materials that hold the risks of spontaneous combustion, self reactivity or emit flammable gases fall under this strata. These solids need to be kept in specialized containers that are watertight to ensure safe passage.

Class 5: Oxidizers

Products under this category run the risk of conflagration by producing oxygen via a redox reaction with compounds in its environment. The main challenge when transporting oxidizing agents is that they are rich in oxygen which makes dousing any potential fires all the more difficult.

Class 6: Toxic/Infectious substances

These are compounds that harm human and animal health via contact, ingestion or inhalation. Toxic substances include poisonous chemicals like cyanide and dyes and items such as biomedical waste while infectious substances follow the likes of biological cultures or medical samples.

Class 7: Radioactive Materials

A material is labelled radioactive if it contains radionuclides, atoms susceptible to radioactive decay, whose concentration and total activity exceed set thresholds. If the packaging is strong, those handling it will be shielded from the detrimental effects of radiation. Biological damage from radiation depends on the dose and duration of radiation exposure.

Class 8: Corrosives

Corrosive substances are reactive chemicals that corrodes or disintegrates upon interacting with other materials. Corrosives require customized storage units and the duration of transport is a vital parameter when moving them.

Class 9: Miscellaneous DG

This section includes goods that are not covered by the aforementioned 8 classes and pose a potential threat to life and/or environment. Such goods can range from Asbestos and Batteries to Genetically modified organisms.

Anchorlink Shipping possesses the necessary expertise and resources to handle all types of Dangerous goods. Contact our executives to know more about DG Handling.