Waste is considered hazardous if:
- Because of certain characteristics it can be found on lists published in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 261).
- Your waste cannot be identified on one of the hazardous waste lists, it still might be hazardous because it exhibits one or more characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity.
Characteristics of hazardous wastes
The waste material (solid, gas or liquid) must have a flashpoint of less than 140° F and/or be an aqueous solution with an alcohol content greater than or equal to 24%. Examples are solvents such as acetone and paint thinners. The hazardous waste number is D001.
The waste material must be a liquid and have a pH of less than 2.0 or greater than 12.5. Examples are battery acids, caustics, and some degreasers. The hazardous waste number is D002.
Reactive wastes are unstable under "normal" circumstances. They may be reactive to water, shock, heat and pressure, and undergo a rapid or violent chemical reaction. Examples are perchlorates, peroxides and cyanides. The hazardous waste number is D003.
These are compounds that have serious short or long term health effects to people who are exposed to them through routes such as ingestion or absorption.
This category includes eight heavy metals and thirty-one organic chemicals, including ten pesticides. Waste in this category need only contain very small amounts of arsenic, lead, mercury or one of the other heavy metals, or organics such as benzene, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, methyl ethyl ketone or any one of the ten pesticides. These have hazardous waste numbers D004 - D043.
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