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A Brief Guide to Hazardous Waste Characteristics

A Brief Guide to Hazardous Waste Characteristics

Disposing of hazardous waste is a dangerous responsibility.

Disposing of hazardous waste is a dangerous responsibility. However, to ensure that it is done safely, you must be able to recognize the different types of hazardous wastes. In addition, you must be able to identify what sets them apart from each other. Following this brief guide should help.


Ignitability refers to how flammable a certain type of hazardous waste is. Typically, this manifests in three different ways The first kind is the flashpoint of something flammable, which can either be 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for fumes. Solid waste is also prone to suddenly igniting, which means that a fire can quickly spread even without the force of an explosion. You will also need to keep a close eye on oxygen tanks and other kinds of stored gases, which can be subjected to changes in pressure that could cause an emergency situation.


Corrosivity is a measure of acidic and basic substances. The corrosive substances can slowly break through the containers they are kept in, which will cause a dangerous spill. All corrosives are liquids, which have a pH of 2 or below, or 12.5 and higher. You might also find that these corrosives can eat through steel, so steel might not be the best containment method.


Reactivity measures how likely hazardous waste is to react violently. The EPA recognizes that these substances are volatile and can erupt with or without an explosive effect. They might also react with water, in which case you should avoid exposing them to any sources of water. Likewise, contact with water might release toxic gas fumes instead of sparking a fire, which is no less hazardous.


Finally, there is toxicity, or how poisonous the hazardous material you are dealing with is. Toxic waste can also contaminate groundwater, which is eventually used as a source for drinking water, which makes it particularly dangerous.


No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.

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