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Hazardous Materials Glossary

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This glossary presents definitions of certain terms used in this section. A complete glossary of terms can be found in the federal Hazardous Materials Rules (49 CFR 171.8). You should have an up-to-date copy of these rules for your reference.

Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.

Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.

Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel, or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight container, in which hazardous materials are loaded with no intermediate form of containment and which has:

  1. A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
  2. A maximum net mass greater than 400 kg (882 pounds) or a maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a solid; or
  3. A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000 pounds) as a receptacle for a gas as defined in Sec. 173.115.

Cargo tank – A bulk packaging which:

  1. Is a tank intended primarily for the carriage of liquids or gases and includes appurtenances, reinforcements, fittings, and closures (for “tank”, see 49 CFR 178.345-1(c), 178.337-1, or 178.338-1, as applicable);
  2. Is permanently attached to or forms a part of a motor vehicle, or is not permanently attached to a motor vehicle but which, by reason of its size, construction, or attachment to a motor vehicle is loaded or unloaded without being removed from the motor vehicle; and
  3. Is not fabricated under a specification for cylinders, portable tanks, tank cars, or multi unit tank car tanks.

Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation of passengers or property by:

  1. Land or water as a common, contract, or private carrier, or
  2. Civil aircraft.

Consignee – The business or person to whom a shipment is delivered.

Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.

EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Freight container – a reusable container having a volume of 64 cubic feet or more, designed and constructed to permit being lifted with its contents intact and intended primarily for containment of packages (in unit form) during transportation.

Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used to transport flammable or combustible liquid or compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is attached, or for the operation of other equipment on the transport vehicle.

Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of the packaging plus the weight of its contents.

Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned to a hazardous material under the definitional criteria of Part 173 and the provisions of the Sec. 172.101 Table. A material may meet the defining criteria for more than one hazard class but is assigned to only one hazard class.

Hazardous materials – A substance or material which has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and which has been so designated. The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials and materials designated as hazardous in the hazardous materials table of §172.101, and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in §173, subchapter c of this chapter.

Hazardous substance – A material, including its mixtures and solutions, that:

  1. Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
  2. Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ) listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101; and
  3. When in a mixture or solution
    • For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph 7 of Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
    • For other than radionuclides, is in a concentration by weight which equals or exceeds the concentration corresponding to the RQ of the material, as shown in Figure 9.12.

This definition does not apply to petroleum products that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR 300.6).

Hazardous waste – For the purposes of this chapter, means any material that is subject to the Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in 40 CFR Part 262.

Intermediate bulk container (IBC) – A rigid or flexible portable packaging, other than a cylinder or portable tank, which is designed for mechanical handling. Standards for IBCs manufactured in the United States are set forth in subparts N and O §178.

Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a hazardous material for which there may be specific labeling or packaging exception.

Marking – The descriptive name, identification number, instructions, cautions, weight, specification, or UN marks or combinations thereof, required by this subchapter on outer packaging of hazardous materials.

Mixture – A material composed of more than one chemical compound or element.

Name of contents – The proper shipping name as specified in Sec. 172.101.

Non-bulk packaging – A packaging, which has:

  1. A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
  2. A maximum net mass less than 400 kg (882 pounds) and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a solid; or
  3. A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1,000 pounds) or less as a receptacle for a gas as defined in Sec. 173.115.

N.O.S. – Not otherwise specified.

Outage or ullage – The amount by which a packaging falls short of being liquid full, usually expressed in percent by volume.

Portable tank – Bulk packaging (except a cylinder having a water capacity of 1,000 pounds or less) designed primarily to be loaded onto, or on, or temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or ship and equipped with skids, mountings, or accessories to facilitate handling of the tank by mechanical means. It does not include a cargo tank, tank car, multi unit tank car tank, or trailer carrying 3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.

Proper shipping name – The name of the hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not italics) in Sec. 172.101.

P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.

P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch absolute.

Reportable quantity (RQ) – The quantity specified in Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for any material identified in Column 1 of the Appendix.

RSPA – now PHMSA – The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.

Shipper’s certification – A statement on a shipping paper, signed by the shipper, saying he/she prepared the shipment properly according to law. For example:

“This is to certify that the above named materials are properly classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled, and are in proper condition for transportation according to the applicable regulations or the Department of Transportation.” or

“I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the proper shipping name and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport by * according to applicable international and national government regulations.”

* words may be inserted here to indicate mode of transportation (rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel)

Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading, manifest, or other shipping document serving a similar purpose and containing the information required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.

Technical name – A recognized chemical name or microbiological name currently used in scientific and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.

Transport vehicle – A cargo-carrying vehicle such as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer, tank car, or rail car used for the transportation of cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body (trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle.

UN standard packaging – A specification packaging conforming to the standards in the UN recommendations.

UN – United Nations.