Flammable solids can create potential threats for the industries that use them. Improper storage, use, and disposal of these materials presents a danger to employees and property.
Take care to understand flammable solids before they cause a hazardous waste emergency. Here is a quick look at Class 4 hazardous materials and how to handle them.
Class 4 Basics
Any solid that readily begins a combustion process with the help of an igniter classifies as a Class 4 Flammable Solid. Class 4 materials undergo this combustion without outside changes to density or pressure.
Likewise, Class 4 materials are prone to combustion without the assistance of chemical accelerants.
Properly labeled Class 4 materials are recognizable by DOT placards with a number 4, red markings, and the flame symbol.
Flammable Solid Examples
The United States Department of Transportation breaks Class 4 Flammable Solids into three major subdivisions. Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids) is the most diverse. Materials that can engage in exothermic reactions without oxygen, combust with friction alone, or are self-reactive fall into this category. Common examples include household matches and sulfur. Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible) items like activated carbon can ignite without a specific ignition source. Lastly, Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet) items become fire hazards when exposed to water. Aluminum powder and magnesium are common examples of Division 4.3.
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Secure Disposal Solutions
Companies that work with Class 4 materials should develop a comprehensive disposal strategy, as the results of improperly disposed flammable solids could be disastrous. Failure to remove these substances properly increases the risk of environmental contamination and fire damages.