Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

What does HAZMAT mean?

May 24th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

HAZMAT is an abbreviation for “hazardous materials”—substances in quantities, or forms, that may pose a reasonable risk to health, property, or the environment. HAZMATs include such substances as toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and biological, chemical, and radiological agents. HAZMATs may be released as liquids, solids, gases, or a combination or form of all three, including dust, fumes, gas, vapor, mist, and smoke. The actual term “HAZMAT” is used predominantly within the US, or abroad by US companies. Outside the US, this term is known as “DANGEROUS GOODS.”

HAZMAT spills have caused health problems, injuries, and death in people and animals, and have damaged buildings, homes, property, and the environment. Given such dire consequences, it is reasonable to conclude that one may not encounter HAZMATs on a daily basis. The truth, however, is that many products containing hazardous chemicals are routinely used and stored in homes, and are transported every day on the nation’s highways, railroads, airlines, waterways, and pipelines.

Thousands of incidents occur each year in which HAZMATs are released into the environment as a result of accidents or natural disasters. In addition to potentially harming people and the environment, spills in coastal waters may cause substantial disruption of marine transportation with potential widespread economic impacts. Both coastal and inland spills are called HAZMAT incidents, and are routinely addressed by first responders like firefighters and local law enforcement.

Skolnik manufacturers steel containers specifically designed and tested to safely contain dangerous goods that are being transported and/or stored in public and private right-of-way. HAZMAT drums comply with the UN Testing Recommendations as well as the US DOT 49 CFR requirements for manufacture of steel HAZMAT drums. Many sizes, levels of protection, coatings and special requirements are found at www.skolnik.com.

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