Hazardous Waste Guide: Miscellaneous Hazardous Material

It may seem fairly obvious from its classification that Class 9 Hazardous Materials of Dangerous Goods are those miscellaneous hazardous materials without a specific definition of the potential hazard, the keyword here being ‘potential.’ Unlike the other 8 hazardous classes that specifically define a hazard—explosives for Class 1, flammable and combustible liquids for Class 3, toxic and infectious substances for Class 6, as examples—Class 9 only vaguely defines a potential hazard or dangerous good. It describes any miscellaneous hazardous material that “presents a hazard during transportation,” but doesn’t fall under any other hazard class. In other words, any materials that are listed in hazard classes 1 through 8 cannot be listed as a Class 9 hazardous material. It also broadens the definition of some materials that would not otherwise be classified as hazardous.

Nevertheless, no matter how vaguely defined, the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires any transportation of any type of hazardous material or waste to be labeled and sorted appropriately. The classifications for the transportation of hazardous materials (commonly referred to as ‘hazmat’) are found under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or simply 49 CFR, which covers the rules and regulations for transportation in the US.

By definition, hazardous materials are those dangerous goods, any substances or materials, that are capable of posing “an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce.” They must be identified with proper packaging, communication, handling, and storage to reduce the associated risks to people, populations, and the environment during transportation. The 49 CFR regulations of hazardous materials then, apply to all modes of transportation be it air, rail, highway, or waterway, and the proper labeling, description, storage, and transportation of materials.

Defining Class 9 Hazardous Materials

While Class 1 through Class 8 specifically defines the hazards they present in the way of combustion, corrosion, toxins, lethality, radioactivity, and so forth, Class 9 has been purposefully left vague. In many ways, metaphorically at least, Class 9 is the junk drawer of hazardous material classifications. At first look, it offers examples that relate to material properties. Materials that have “an anesthetic, noxious or other similar property which could cause extreme annoyance or discomfort to a flight crew member” to the extent that it might interfere or prevent them from carrying out their assigned duties. Besides flight crews, i.e., flight attendants, bursars, pilots, flight engineers, etc., other examples would also include locomotive engineers, conductors, and railway workers, truck drivers, bus drivers, or sailors, barge masters, boat pilots, and the like.

The second part of the definition of Class 9 is those materials that are hazardous substances or wastes and marine pollutants; and any “elevated temperature materials.” Elevated temperature materials apply to liquids at a temperature at or above 100 °C (212 °F) or a liquid phase material with a flashpoint at or above 38 °C (100 °F) that is intentionally heated or a solid phase material at a temperature at or above 240 °C (464 °F).

Common examples of materials that fall under the Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazard Wastes category would include:

  • Acetaldehyde ammonia
  • Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
  • Asbestos
  • Aviation regulated liquid
  • Automobile airbags
  • Battery-powered equipment
  • Battery-powered vehicle
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Carbon dioxide, solid or Dry ice
  • Castor beans or Castor meal or Castor pomace or Castor flake
  • Chemical kits
  • Consumer commodity
  • Cotton
  • Chemical kits
  • First aid kits
  • Lithium batteries
  • Magnetized materials
  • Plastic molding compound
  • Self-defense spray, non-pressurized
  • Self-inflating life vests
  • Sulfur

How to Dispose of Class 9 Waste

On any job site, the presence of any hazardous material or waste can pose an immediate or eventual threat to the health, well-being, and safety of anyone in the presence of the material. The first step in ensuring safety is in properly classifying the hazardous material. Therefore, as with any hazardous substance or material, once classified, Class 9 materials must be properly managed and disposed of.

However, as discussed, Class 9 miscellaneous hazardous materials present a wide variety of ‘potential’ hazards and risks to human health and safety and the environment. Because of such vagueness in the classification, those companies, manufacturers, businesses, and institutions that are preparing shipment or handling of such materials may consider the services of a reputable hazardous waste management company as MLI Environmental. Our team of dangerous goods experts offers a range of services to help you properly package, label, ship, and/or dispose of Class 9 or any hazardous material. Contact MLI to help advise you on what you need to know to transport miscellaneous hazardous material.