If you’re a company that uses Class 5 oxidizers, care must be taken to avoid a potentially dangerous environment.
That’s because hazardous waste Class 5 oxidizers readily yield oxygen in reactions. This can enhance the threat of combustion and pose a dangerous situation for your employees.
Below, we’ll explore some of the most frequent questions that address:
The Department of Transportation uses a classification system that organizes hazardous chemicals and materials into different groups, referred to as classes.
Examples of classes include explosives, gases, flammable solids and radioactive materials. Class 5 oxidizers is another example of hazardous materials class your business may use.
Class 5 is divided into two sub-classes:
Class 5.1 Oxidizing substances are not necessarily combustible themselves. However, by yielding oxygen, they can cause or contribute to the combustion of another material.
Examples of Class 5.1 Oxidizing substances include:
Class 5.2 Organic peroxides are substances that contain the bivalent -O-O- structure and may be considered derivatives of hydrogen peroxide. One or both hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals.
Organic peroxides are thermally unstable. They may undergo self-accelerating decomposition and may present hazardous conditions in the workplace, since they:
Although oxygen itself isn’t necessarily hazardous, the production of oxygen in high concentrations is extremely dangerous.
In the event of a fire or chemical reaction, the presence of oxidizers can lead to massive combustion of an otherwise small, contained chemical event. This video shows the energetic reaction between an oxidizer and organic compound.
Because oxidizers are so hazardous and reactive, they need to be handled in a very specific way.
If your employees must handle oxidizers in your facility, it’s important that they:
For this reason, oxidizers should only be handled by highly qualified waste disposal specialists. Specialists will:
Disposal specialists also will ensure all requirements are met for proper disposal. Improper disposal of hazardous waste can take many different forms. One of the most basic and common forms of improper waste disposal for Class 5 oxidizers is failing to store and label the waste.
All Class 5 oxidizers should be stored to meet federal guidelines enforced by the Department of Transportation. Shipping requirements when transporting these hazardous materials, may include:
In the event of an accident or emergency involving Class 5 oxidizers, keep the following safety tips in mind:
If any of the above situations occur, make sure you provide the medical team with the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical. Always consult with the SDS for emergency procedures specific to the chemical you are using.
If a spill occurs, sweep up spills of solid oxidizers carefully with a broom and dustpan. Collect the material in a container with lid. Liquid spills can be cleaned up with inert absorbent pads (no organic material). If the liquid oxidizer is an acid, the spill should first be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate.
Because oxidizers can be reactive, they should be disposed of by highly qualified waste disposal specialists to:
Be sure to work with a hazardous waste disposal company that is properly licensed and trained to handle emergency situations. Waste removal specialists should know exactly what to do in the event of any kind of spill to ensure the safety of your facility, staff and others around you.