4 Characteristics of Hazardous Waste for Completing Your Waste Profile

The EPA requires all hazardous waste producers to fill out an important form called a Hazardous Waste Profile. Formally known as the Waste Characterization Profile, the Hazardous Waste Profile requires a list of all chemical properties associated with the waste produced.

This form must be completed before waste is disposed of or transported. The Hazardous Waste Profile provides important information about the material being shipped. 

The Four Main Characteristics of Hazardous Waste

The EPA requires a Hazardous Waste Profile when removing hazardous waste, which is given to the Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) facility prior to its arrival. Otherwise, the TSD facility can not accept the shipment. 

1. Corrosivity

Corrosive substances destroy other substances with which they come into contact, posing immediate threat. 

For example, corrosive substances can eat through containers, causing hazardous waste leaks. Corrosive materials that require special handling include nitric acid and hydrochloric acid

To be corrosive, liquids must have a pH of 2 or less, greater than or equal to 12.5, or be able to corrode steel.

2. Ignitability

Oxidized and compressed gases are ignitable, as are solids that spontaneously combust and liquids with a flashpoint. 

Flashpoint refers to the lowest temperature at which waste fumes will ignite, which is 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. Reactivity

Reactive wastes pose an immediate threat. It is especially dangerous because it is unstable and thus likely to react with improper handling. 

Generators should identify any unstable materials that experience violent change or materials that become reactive when mixed with water. 

For example, materials are considered hazardous if toxic gases are released when the material is mixed with water. Too many materials are reactive to generate a simple definition. 

4. Toxicity

Toxic materials pose a threat to groundwater, as leaks can contaminate the water supply, causing long-term effects on health and the environment. The EPA has a list of 60 contaminants, so generators can use the list to check for materials toxicity.

Keeping Your Waste Profile Current

By understanding how these four components pose a threat to human health and the environment, and knowing what makes a material toxic, reactive, ignitable, or corrosive, you can ensure all hazardous waste is properly marked for shipping or disposal.

Hazardous Waste Profiles must be reviewed regularly to ensure that the waste produced continues to match the reported description of the waste arriving at the TSD. Routine shipments do not always mean that the same shipment is going out. 

HWH Environmental

Hazardous Waste Generators located throughout the United States depend on HWH Environmental to consider their unique generator status and ensure that all deadlines, EPA regulations, and TSD requirements are adhered to correctly. Contact us today for a consultation or prompt service of your hazardous waste needs. 

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