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Solids To Liquids To Solids And In Between

January 8th, 2002 by Andrew Castle

Filed under: Uncategorized

At the first meeting of the 2002/2002 biennium, an observer to the United Nations (UN) pointed out that there might be conflicts when classifying substances based on their physical state. It was noted that the UN number could change for the same substance based on whether it‘s physical state is Solid or a Liquid. The Netherlands and Germany reviewed situations where this apparent problem arose and brought these situations to the attention of the Committee of Experts (COE). The COE determined that there will be separate numbers for the same substance in liquid form and solid form but only if the liquid form is shipped in significant quantities (this would be determined on a case by case basis). It was also determined that substances that are on the border of liquid and solid phases (isomers) also deserve separate UN numbers. Though still not adopted, if a shipped product does alter it’s state due to temperature, movement or any change in conditions, it will be the shipper‘s responsibility to correctly identify and classify the shipment using this new criteria.

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