About Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods are substances that when transported are a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. These items typically incur a handling fee as part of the shipping costs.

Mitigating the risks associated with hazardous materials may require the application of safety precautions during their transport, use, storage and disposal. Following the UN model, the DOT divides regulated hazardous materials into nine classes, some of which are further subdivided. Hazardous materials in transportation must be placarded and have specified packaging and labelling. Some materials must always be placarded, others may only require placarding in certain circumstances. Trailers of goods in transport are usually marked with a four digit UN number. This number, along with standardized logs of hazmat information, can be referenced by first responders (firefighters, police officers, and ambulance personnel) who can find information about the material in the Emergency Response Guidebook.

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