Hazardous Waste Class 8 - Corrosive Liquids

If you’re a company that uses corrosive liquids, extreme care must be taken. That’s because hazardous waste Class 8 corrosive liquids will destroy and damage other substances they come in contact with.

Hazardous waste Class 8 corrosive liquids are usually either strong acids or strong bases, and depending on the compounds within them, they can react differently with various metals and polymers.


Of more concern, however, is the damage this type of hazardous waste can cause to human skin over a period of time. Below, we’ll explore some of the most frequent questions that address:


  • What Class 8 liquids are,
  • How they should be shipped, and
  • Why it’s important to dispose of them properly.


What Are Class 8 Liquids?


hazardous waste class 8Acids and bases vary considerably in their strength, and can generally be measured on a pH scale that ranges from 0 to 14. Pure water is considered neutral at 7. A strong acid generally has a pH at or under 2, while a strong base with have a pH at or above 12.

Class 8 Liquids usually fall into one of these pH extremes. Both acids and bases are used in a wide variety of commercial manufacturing and cleaning applications, and their byproducts remain extremely dangerous, even after dilution.

One of the most common examples of a Class 8 Liquid is battery fluid. Other examples include sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid.


How Should They Be Shipped?


The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations divides Class 8 Corrosives into three packing groups according to their degree of hazard in transport. Packing Group I indicates the greatest danger, with Group III indicating minor danger.

Here are the definitions:

Packing Group I - Materials that cause full thickness destruction of intact skin tissue within an observation period of up to 60 minutes, starting after the exposure time of three minutes or less.

Packing Group IIMaterials other than those meeting Packing Group I criteria that cause full thickness destruction of intact skin tissue within an observation period of up to 14 days, starting after the exposure time of more than three minutes but not more than 60 minutes. 

Packing Group IIIMaterials, other than those meeting Packing Group I or II criteria:

  1. That cause full thickness destruction of intact skin tissue within an observation period of up to 14 days starting after the exposure time of more than 60 minutes but not more than 4 hours; or
  2. That do not cause full thickness destruction of intact skin tissue but exhibit a corrosion rate on steel or aluminum surfaces exceeding 6.25 mm (0.25 inch) a year at a test temperature of 55°C (130°F). 

You can view a Chart of Class 3 Corrosives that details more information on how they should be shipped, protective equipment required and other technical information.

It’s also important to follow any other shipping requirements when transporting these hazardous materials, such as including:


  • A shipping manifest: In 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency began implementing a national e-manifest system that tracks hazardous waste shipments electronically. For several decades, the EPA has imposed a manifest system that tracks cradle-to-grave hazardous waste.
  • The proper hazardous waste labels: The DOT requires hazardous waste generators to label and mark each package of waste before transporting off site. The Class 8 label, in particular, features a symbol that shows liquids spilling from two glass vessels and causing damage to a hand and piece of metal. The placard also is in black and white, and features the number, “8.”
  • California requirements: The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) also provides its own set of requirements that generators must follow, including:
    • The composition and physical state of the waste
    • A statement that calls attention to the hazardous properties of the waste
    • Name and address of the generator


Why Dispose Professionally?


hazardous waste class 8As mentioned above, disposing of corrosive liquids legally and responsibly is managed by federal and state laws. The U.S. Department of Transportation, EPA and the California DTSC prohibit corrosive liquids from being disposed of as normal waste.

That’s because exposure to corrosive liquids could be catastrophic for employees and any surrounding equipment. It is important to limit your organization’s liability and expenses in the event of a hazardous waste spill.

While most hazardous waste generators are aware that they have responsibilities to safely dispose their waste, many fail to realize there are “complete” cradle to grave requirements they must follow. To stay in compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), generators are responsible for the hazardous waste they produce from its initial generation, its transportation and to its final disposal.


Bottom Line


If you’re a company that uses corrosive liquids, it’s important that you properly label, store, transport and dispose of these substances. Hazardous waste Class 8 substances will cause significant damage to any substances they come in contact with, including human skin.

Working with a certified hazardous waste management firm is essential to ensuring the safety of your employees. A professional firm will safely contain corrosive liquids in separate, specialized containers. This will reduce the risk of causing a harmful reaction between incompatible hazardous liquids, and then transport the materials safely to an EPA-designated landfill or processing plant.

A properly licensed and experienced hazardous waste disposal company also can help your business maintain federal and state standards, and comply with any cradle-to-grave requirements.



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