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Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Chemical Hazard Class and Storage Information





DOT Hazard Class

Definition

Examples

Hazards

Storage

(Also see Incompatible Chemicals)

Class 1

Explosive/Shock Sensitive

Thermodynamically unstable material.

picric acid, 2,4-dinitro-phenol, organic azides

Explosion caused by shock or chemical reaction.

Follow manufacturer's recommendation. Discard before expiration date. Store minimum quantities.

Class 2: Gases        

Flammable Gas

Gas with a flash point less than 140° F.

carbon monoxide, hydrogen, oxygen

Ignites easily, burns rapidly.

Store away from ignition sources and oxidizers.  Secure with a double chain to prevent falling.  Store oxygen away from flammable gases.  Check connections regularly to avoid leaking. 

Non-Flammable Gas (including compressed gas) 

Non-flammable, purified gas in a pressurized tank.

nitrogen, carbon dioxide

Tank rupture, fire, toxic atmosphere, oxygen displacement

Store upright, secure with a double chain to prevent falling. Check connections regularly to avoid leaking. 

Class 3 Flammable Liquid

Liquid with a flash point less 140° F.

methanol, acetone, acetaldehyde

Ignites easily, burns rapidly.

Store in flammable storage cabinet, away from ignition sources and oxidizers.  Quantities should not exceed 10 gallons.

Class 4 Flammable Solid

Solid that burns readily.

sodium

Ignites easily, burns rapidly.

Store in flammable storage cabinet, away from ignition source and oxidizers.

Class 5.1 Oxidizer

Agents that react with reducible material to initiate or promote combustion.

nitric acid, bromine

Fire or explosion.

Store away from organics and flammables.  Do not store directly on wooden shelves or paper.  Store chlorine separately from acids.

Class 5.2 Organic Peroxide

 

Any organic compound that forms unstable peroxides when exposed to air.

diethyl ether

Explosion resulting from formation of concentrated peroxide crystals.

Dispose before expiration date.  If there is no marked expiration date, label with receipt date and maintain for no more than 1 year or 6 months after opening.

Class 6 Poison

Toxic

Highly Toxic

Chemicals that cause damage to target organs (liver, lungs, reproductive system, etc.) if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Toxic chemicals have an LD50 of 50 - 500 mg/kg, single oral dose for rats. Highly toxic chemicals have an LD50 of < 50 mg/kg, single oral dose for rats.

chloroform, chromic acid, phenol, acetonitrile

Acute or toxic effects that may be local, systemic, or both.

Store in a secure, sealed container below shoulder level. Use only in designated areas.  Store away from incompatibles.

Class 8: Corrosive



 





Organic Acids

Compound with pH of 1-7, containing carbon.

phenol, acetic acid

Tissue damage, violent reaction with strong bases.

Segregate from mineral acids, oxidizing acids and bases.

Inorganic Acids

Compound with pH of 1-7, not containing carbon.

hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, boric acid

Tissue damage, violent reaction with strong bases.

Segregate from organic acids, oxidizing acids and bases.

Caustics

Compound with pH of 7-14.

sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide

Tissue damage, violent reactions with strong acids.

Segregate from mineral acids, organic acids, and oxidizing acids.

Class 9: Miscellaneous

 

 

 

 

Water Reactive

Reacts violently when exposed to water producing heat or toxic gases.

sodium metal, acid anhydrides, metal anhydrides

Explosion, fire, toxic atmosphere

Store away from water, including sprinkler heads, sinks and drains, per manufacturers instructions.

Pyrophoric

Ignites spontaneously in air.

Phosphorus, lithium

Fire

Store under inert atmosphere per manufacturers instructions.

Carcinogen

Chemicals that cause cancer in humans or animals models.

formaldehyde, benzene

Carcinogenesis

Store in a secure, sealed container below shoulder level.  Use in only designated areas with approved controls. Store away from incompatibles.

Cryogen

Liquefied or solidified gases at low temperatures.

liquid nitrogen, dry ice

Tissue damage (frost bite), oxygen displacement, tank rupture

Store in approved containers. Store in well ventilated areas. (Do not store dry ice in cold rooms.)  Design transfer lines such that liquids cannot be trapped in a non-ventilated part of the system.

Sensitizer Substances that can cause an allergic reaction of the skin or respiratory system. glutaraldehyde, isocyanates Allergic reaction. Store in secure container taking into account other hazards associated with the substance.
Controlled Substances Substances specifically controlled by federal law. narcotics Theft Store in a secure, locked location.  Maintain a current inventory.

Nonhazardous













Compatible Storage Classes

Class

Definition

Examples

Hazards

Storage

Flammables

Gases and solvents with a flash point less than 140oF and solids that burn readily

methanol, acetone,

acetaldehyde

Ignites easily, burns rapidly

Store in flammable storage cabinet , away from ignition sources and oxidizers

Organic Acids

pH 1-7

bromic acid, nitric acid, phenol

Tissue damage, violent reaction with strong bases, Fire

Segregate from mineral acids, oxidizing acids and bases.

Inorganic Acids

pH 1-7

hydrochloric;

sulfuric, boric

Tissue Damage, violent reaction with strong bases

Segregate from organic acids, oxidizing acids and bases

Caustics

Bases

(pH 7 – 14)

sodium hydroxide; potassium hydroxide

Tissue damage, violent reactions with strong acids

Segregate from mineral acids, organic acids, and oxidizing acids

Explosive/ Shock Sensitive

Thermodynamically unstable material

picric acid

2,4-dinitrophenol

organic azides

Explosion caused by shock or chemical reaction

Follow manufacturer’s recommendation.  Discard before expiration date. Store minimum quantities

Water Reactive

React violently when exposed to water to produce heat or toxic gases

sodium metal, acid anhydrides, metal anhydrides

Explosion, Fire, Toxic atmosphere

Store under inert atmosphere or oil per manufacturers instructions.

Peroxide Former

Form unstable peroxides when exposed to air

diethyl ether, sodium amide

Explosion resulting from formation of concentrated peroxide crystals

Store under nitrogen.  Dispose before expiration date.  If there is no marked expiration date label with receipt date and maintain for no more than 1 year. Mark the date opened and store for a maximum of 6 months after opening.  Store minimum quantities.

Pyrophoric

Ignites spontaneously in air

phosphorus metal, lithium

Fire

Store under inert atmosphere per manufacturers instructions.

Oxidizer

Agents that reacts with reducible material to initiate or promote combustion

nitric acid, bromine,

Fire, explosion

Store away from organics and flammables.  Do not store directly on wooden shelves or paper.  Store chlorine separately from acids.

Poison

Chemicals that cause damage to target organs (liver, lungs, reproductive system, etc.) if inhaled, ingested, injected or absorbed through the skin.

chloroform

chromic acid



Acute or chronic toxic effects that may be local, systemic or both.

Store in a secure, sealed container below shoulder level.  Use only in designated areas.  Store away from incompatibles.

Carcinogen

Chemicals that can cause cancer in humans or human models

formaldehyde, benzene

Carcinogenisis

Store in a secure, sealed container below shoulder level.  Use only in designated areas with approved controls.  Store away from incompatibles.

Cryogen

Liquefied or solidified gases at low temperatures

liquid nitrogen, dry ice

Tissue damage (frost bite), oxygen displacement, Tank rupture

Store in approved containers.  Store in well ventilated areas. (Do not store dry ice in cold rooms.) Design transfer lines that liquids can not be trapped in a non-vented part of the system

Compressed Gas

Purified gas in a pressurized container

nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide

Tank rupture, Fire, toxic atmosphere, oxygen displacement

Store upright, secure to prevent falling, check connections regularly to avoid leaking. Store oxygen away from flammable gases.

Controlled Substances

Substances specifically controlled by federal law

narcotics

Theft

Store in a secure, locked location.

Maintain a current inventory.

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