Dangerous Goods Symbols

Many products which we encounter on a daily basis can be hazardous to our health if we come into contact with them too often or for too long. The packaging of substances such as household cleaning fluids and gardening products will often carry what are known as Risk and Safety phrases together with one or more small square orange symbols which describe the nature of the hazard and the actions that should be taken if the substance is accidentally spilled or swallowed. For all modes of transport (sea, air, rail, road and inland waterways) the classification (grouping) of these dangerous goods is as follows:

Division 1 : Explosives

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Subdivision 1.1: Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
Consists of explosives that have a mass explosion hazard. Explosives that have a mass explosion hazard, i.e. a mass explosion affect the entire load instantaneously.

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Subdivision 1.2: Explosives with a projection hazard
Explosives that have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard.

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Subdivision 1.3:Explosives with a fire
Explosives that have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard.

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Subdivision 1.4: Minor fire or projection hazard
Explosives that present minor explosion hazard. The explosive effects are largely confined to the package and no projection or fragments of appreciable size or range are expected. An external fire must not cause virtually instantaneous explosion of almost the entire contents of the package.

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Subdivision 1.5: An insensitive substance with a mass explosion hazard
Very insensitive explosives that have a mass explosion hazard but are so insensitive that there is little probability of initiation or of transition from burning to detonation under normal conditions of transport.

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Subdivision 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles
Consists of extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosive hazard. This division is comprised of articles which contain only extremely insensitive detonating substances and which demonstrate a negligible probability of accidental initiation or propagation.

Division 2 : Gases

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Subdivision 2.1: Flammable Gas
Includes gases which ignite on contact with ignition source example acetylene, hydrogen.

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Subdivision 2.2: Non-Flammable Gases
Gases which are neither flammable nor poisonous example oxygen, nitrogen, neon. Includes the cryogenic gases/liquids (temperatures of below -100°C) used for cryopreservation and rocket fuels.

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Subdivision 2.3: Poisonous Gases
Poisonous gases – gases liable to cause death or serious injury to human health if inhaled example fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen cyanide

Division 3 : Flammable Liquids

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A flammable liquid means a liquid which may catch fire easily or any mixture having one or more components with any flash point. As example: acetone, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, oil etc. There is strongly recommended for transportation at or above its flash point in a bulk packaging. There are three main groups of flammable liquid.
Low flash point - liquids with flash point below -18°C
Intermediate flash point - liquids with flash point from -18°C up to +23°C and a boiling point greater than 35 degree Celsius example kerosene
High flash point group - Liquids with a flashpoint above 23 degree Celsius but not exceeding
61 degree Celsius and a boiling point greater than 35 degree Celsius example kerosene.

Division 4 : Flammable solids

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Subdivision 4.1: Flammable solids
Solid substances that are easily ignited readily combustible example nitrocellulose, magnesium, safety or strike-anywhere matches. Self-reactive materials, which are thermally unstable and that can undergo a strongly exothermic decomposition even without participation of air. Readily combustible solids that can cause a fire through friction and show a burning rate faster than 2.2 mm (0.087 inches) per second, or metal powders that can be ignited and react over the whole length of a sample in 10 minutes or less.

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Subdivision 4.2: Spontaneously combustible solids
Solid substances that ignite spontaneously. Spontaneously combustible material is a pyrophoric material, which is a liquid or solid that can ignite within five minutes after coming in contact with air or a self-heating material that when in contact with air and without an energy supply is liable to self-heat. Spontaneously combustible substances example aluminum alkyls, white phosphorus.

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Subdivision 4.3: Dangerous when wet
Solid substances that emit a flammable gas when wet example sodium, calcium, potassium. They react violently with water.

Division 5 : Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

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Subdivision 5.1: Oxidizing agent
Oxidizers are materials that can, generally by yielding oxygen, cause or enhance the combustion of other materials example calcium hypochlorite, ammonium nitrate, hydrogen peroxide.

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Subdivision 5.2: Organic peroxide oxidizing agent
Organic peroxide means any organic compound containing oxygen in the bivalent structure and which may be considered a derivative of hydrogen peroxide, where one or more of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals example benzoyl peroxides, cumene hydro peroxide.

Division 6 : Toxic and infectious substances

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Subdivision 6.1: Poison
Toxic substances can cause death or serious injury if they are swallowed, inhaled or come into contact With skin. Nearly all toxic substances give off toxic gases in a fire or when heated to decomposition Examples: Cyanides, lead, cadmium, arsenic and many pesticides.

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Subdivision 6.2: Biohazard
These are substances containing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause Life-threatening or fatal disease in humans or animals. Examples: Live vaccines, medical and clinical wastes. Infectious Substance material is known to contain or suspected of containing a pathogen.

Division 7 : Radioactive substances

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Radioactive substances comprise substances or a combination of substances which emit ionizing radiation. This class includes materials or combinations of materials that spontaneously emit harmful levels of radiation.

Division 8 : Corrosive substances

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Corrosive materials are liquids or solids that cause full thickness destruction of human skin at the site of contact within a specified period of time; or a liquid that has a severe corrosion rate on steel or aluminum. Some corrosive substances will also produce toxic gas when decomposed by very high temperatures If they leak during transportation, many corrosives will damage or even destroy other goods or the vehicle itself.
Acids example sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid.
Alkalis example potassium hydroxide sodium hydroxide.

Division 9 : Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

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A material which presents a hazard during transportation but which does not meet the definition of any other hazard Division. These are substances and articles that present a danger and/or are not covered by other classes already described example asbestos, air-bag inflators, self inflating life rafts, dry ice. This class also includes: any material which has an anesthetic, noxious or other similar property which could cause extreme annoyance or discomfort to a flight crew member so as to prevent the correct performance of assigned duties or material for an elevated temperature material, a hazardous substance, a hazardous waste, or a marine pollutant.

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