Things to Know About the Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste

Dealing with harmful substances comes with the territory in factory jobs. You never know what types of things can create a chemical burn on the surface, set off a fire, or create another dangerous situation. Consider learning about the characteristics that may prove detrimental to the workplace and colleagues. Here are some things to know about hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste characterization fits into four elements: toxicity, reactivity, corrosivity, and ignitability. Take a look at a brief explanation of these characteristics.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines toxic wastes as harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed. Some of these substances include mercury or lead.

Toxic waste can leak into the water or land, causing severe pollution to the ecosystem. It may harm both animals and humans by poisoning drinking water and plants.


Reactive wastes are unstable under “normal” conditions. These wastes can lead to toxic fumes, gases, explosions, or vapors when under intense heat, compression, or a combination of water. Two examples of reactive materials that can cause damage include lithium-sulfur batteries and explosives.


Corrosive wastes fit in with acids or bases with a pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5. These are unique cases because they have the strength to corrode metal containers. Watch out for storage tanks, drums, and barrels.

Also, battery acid can eat through the skin, which can cause severe health issues. Corrosive hazardous material can involve liquid or solid.


Check out this characteristic with one of the most complex elements people need to watch for using harmful substances. EPA says that ignitable wastes can create fires, spontaneously combust, or have a flash point less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Waste oils and used solvents pose a threat when ignited. Also, the flash point can evaporate yet have a potent vapor that creates an ignitable combination in the air. Whether it’s liquid or solid, they have unique characteristics that make them dangerous for home or the workplace.

You have to worry about the flash point in regards to ignitable liquids. Solids can ignite under a standard temperature and pressure to cause more friction, moisture absorption, and chemical changes. These burn ferociously and pose a hazardous situation anywhere.

Find out how to prevent a hazardous waste issue by properly using aerosol items, batteries, and other

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