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Dangerous Goods Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

Posted in Dangerous Goods - 2 Mar 2020, 2:41 PM

Consisting of toxic and infectious substances, the dangerous goods class 6 can lead to severe threats to safety and health if mishandled. The goods are divided into two subdivisions: division 6.1 (toxic substances) and division 6.2 (infectious substances). Besides detailing these divisions, there’s also information on the rules of shipping that can help you or your company have these goods safe for shipping.

The Divisions of Dangerous Goods Class 6

The two divisions of toxic and infectious substances in Class 6 are:

·       Division 6.1 (poisonous substances)

The substances listed here are those prone to either result in critical damage or even death on both humans and animals when inhaled, ingested, or touched. While gases aren’t included in this category, tear gas is an exception since it can lead to respiratory issues or chemical burns.

These substances vary in terms of toxicity severity and damaging time length. For instance, the chlorinated hydrocarbons mostly only injure without killing (as long as the dose wasn’t exorbitant). The cyanides, however, won’t take long for it to take effect and lead someone to death. Therefore, it’s important to note that 6.1 should never be carried along with food.

·       Division 6.2 (infectious substances)

The next division consists of substances expected to include pathogens, which are described as microorganisms (including fungi, parasites, viruses, rickettsiae, and bacteria) and prions that are harmful to both humans and animals. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute, the 6.2 is further divided into two sub-categories:

  1. Category A Infectious Substances: those hauled in a form capable of incurring critical diseases, permanent disability, and life-threatening conditions when exposed. Some examples assigned to UN 2814 include viruses like rabies, Lassa, hepatitis B, and Ebola. The goods leading to damages only in animals are assigned to UN 2900, which contain viruses like vesicular stomatitis, sheep-pox, foot and mouth disease, and African Horse Sickness.
  1. Category B Infectious Substances: those hauled in a form capable of incurring critical diseases, permanent disability, and life-threatening conditions when exposed.

Commonly Shipped Goods For Toxic and Infectious Substances

These are some of the most common shipped toxic and infectious substances in Class 6:

  • Biological waste like human or animal tissue
  • Clinical waste
  • Cyanide compounds
  • Pesticides
  • Medical waste
  • Lead-based compounds
  • Phenol
  • Cresols
  • Tear gas
  • Others suspected to contain pathogenic organisms

Rules of Shipping for Toxic and Infectious Substances

With substances prone to severe threats when not handled properly, it’s essential to understand the shipping rules for toxic and infectious substances in Class 6. The bottom line when dealing with them is to make sure their packaging isn’t breached.

Label your substances properly on the shipping vessels to keep everyone near it alerted and safe. Each has its particular packaging rules, and not all postal services open service for sending this cargo to your destination. Always do your research first!

Moreover, equip yourself with the specific rules governing your substance and proper documents before executing the shipping process. The particular regulations can range from knowing the correct temperature to store or hold the materials in the cargo to using performance-grade vermiculite to help absorb moisture. Having these critical considerations at hand will help you handle the toxic and infectious substances in Class 6 safely and accordingly.

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