Hazardous Materials

The term hazardous materials is applied to all substances and objects whose transport may represent a potential threat to the environment, humans, animals and public safety and order. The transportation of hazardous materials is therefore subject to various legal regulations depending on the mode of transport. The regulations concerning classification for the relevant mode of transport determine whether a substance or object is a hazardous material. Differences are made between the following modes of transport:

- Road (ADR)
- Rail (RID)
- Inland waterway (ADN))
- Ocean (IMDG Code)
- Air (IATA-DGR)

Efforts aimed at harmonization mean that the regulations governing classification for the various modes of transport are being brought into line. However, differences still exist.

ADR/RID divides hazardous materials in to 13 categories of dangerous goods:

ClassClass description
1Explosive materials and objects
2Gases
3Flammable liquids
4.1Flammable solids
4.2   Spontaneously combustible solids
4.3    Substances that emit a flammable gas when wet or
react violently with water
5.1   Inflammatory (oxidizing) agents
5.2   Organic peroxides
6.1   Poisonous substances
6.2Biohazardous substances
7Radioactive substances
8Corrosive substances
9Miscellaneous substances and objects
ADR = European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR = Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route)
ADN = European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by inland waterway (ADN = Accord européen relatif au transport international des merchandises dangereuses par voie de navigation intérieure)
IATA-DGR = International aviation treaty agency - dangerous goods regulations (ICAO - International civil aviation organization
IMDG = International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMO -International maritime organization)
RID = Convention concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by rail