How to Ship Aerosols
The industrial sector uses aerosols for an endless number of applications—pesticides, lubricants, cleaners, paints and more. In fact, aerosols are so common in industrial facilities that US EPA recently added them to the universal waste program alongside common wastes like batteries and lamps, to encourage recycling.
Like many products we use every day, aerosol cans are regulated as hazardous materials. To ship aerosols, shippers must comply with strict domestic and international rules. Violations of US hazmat shipping regulations can result in civil penalties that now max out at more than $80,000 per day, per violation and increase every year.
US DOT Definition of AerosolIn the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), US DOT defines an aerosol as:
“…an article consisting of any non-refillable receptacle containing a gas compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure, the sole purpose of which is to expel a nonpoisonous (other than a Division 6.1 Packing Group III material) liquid, paste, or powder and fitted with a self-closing release device allowing the contents to be ejected by the gas.”
[49 CFR 171.8]
Why Are Aerosols Hazardous Materials?Aerosols, by definition, contain a compressed gas that acts as a propellant and ejects product out of the can. Aerosols are typically assigned to DOT hazard Division 2.2 (compressed gas) or 2.1 (flammable gas).
Occasionally, aerosols contain poisonous or corrosive materials and must be assigned a subsidiary hazard of (6.1) or (8), respectively.
For acceptance by all modes of transportation, shippers of aerosols must:
- Classify the hazards for transportation per 49 CFR 172.101,
- Choose the most accurate, specific shipping name for UN 1950,
- Select safe, compliant packaging to prevent releases in transit,
- Identify any DOT Special Provisions (SP) that apply,
- Properly mark and label packages,
- Placard containers and transport vehicles when required,
- Document shipments on shipping papers, when required,
- Provide employee hazmat training to ensure worker safety and compliance, and
- Consider rules and reliefs available for limited quantities and consumer commodities (formerly ORM-D)
Online Hazmat Training Courses for ShippersHazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT)
Provides DOT hazmat training required for hazmat employees in 49 CFR 172.704. Comprehensive general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific hazmat training for managers who oversee hazardous materials safety and employees who perform typical pre-transportation job functions.
Shipping Limited Quantities and Consumer Commodities
Provides required training to ship hazmat limited quantities (including consumer commodities) by ground, air, or vessel under current 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code regulations. The course covers the distinct provisions and reliefs for each mode of transportation.
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