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A Guide to the Classes of Dangerous Goods

  • Feb 28, 2020
  • Madeline S.

The transportation of dangerous goods is one of the most lucrative fields in the transportation industry. It’s also one of the most regulated. There are federal and local regulations on how dangerous goods must be transported, and trucking companies need to know the different classes of dangerous goods.


Class 1: Explosives

The first class of dangerous goods includes explosives. Substances are considered explosives if they are capable of producing gas at a temperature, pressure, or speed that would damage the surroundings, or designed to produce an explosive or pyrotechnic effect by heat, light, sound, gas, smoke or a combination. Within this class, there are six divisions that explosives can fall within.


Class 2: Gases

The second class of dangerous goods is for gases. A substance is included in this class if it is a gas identified by the regulations, a mixture of gases, an article charged with a gas, tellurium hexafluoride, or an aerosol. There are three divisions for gases: Flammable Gases, Non-Flammable and Non-Toxic Gases, and Toxic Gases.


Class 3: Flammable Liquids

The third class of dangerous goods is for flammable liquids. A substance is included in this class if it has a flash point less than or equal to 60ºC using the closed-cup test method or is intended/expected to be at a temperature that is greater than or equal to their flashpoint at any time while in transport.


Class 4: Flammable Solids

The fourth class of dangerous goods includes flammable solids, substances liable to spontaneous combustion, and water-reactive substances. There are three divisions for this class: Flammable Solids, Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion, Water-reactive substances.


Class 5: Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides

The fifth class of dangerous goods includes oxidizing substances and organic peroxides. Oxidizing substances are that which yields oxygen that causes or contributes to the combustion of other materials.


Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

The sixth class of dangerous goods is for toxic and infectious substances. Substances are included in this class if they are liable to cause death, serious injury, or harm human health or an infectious substance.


Class 7: Radioactive Materials

The seventh class of dangerous materials includes radioactive materials. This class is heavily regulated and dangerous.


Class 8: Corrosives

The eighth class of dangerous materials is included corrosives. Substances are included in this class if they are known to cause the destruction of human skin or exhibit a corrosive rate exceeding 6.25 mm per year.


Class 9: Miscellaneous Products, Substances, and Organisms

The ninth class of dangerous goods is for any substance that is explicitly stated in regulations or does not meet the criteria for any inclusion in any of the other classes.


If you want to learn more about the transportation of dangerous goods, sign up for our Transportation of Dangerous Goods course. You’ll learn all about relevant regulations, the different classes, necessary documentation, and emergency response plans.