Batteries are one of the most common household hazards out there. They might not be as harmful as carbon monoxide or have the power to break through walls, but they can hurt you nonetheless and cause permanent damage if you accidentally swallow them. Automotive batteries are especially dangerous because they contain different materials that classify them under more than one hazard class. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at these batteries and explain which hazard classes apply to each of their components.
The 4 general hazard classes
There are 4 general hazard classes of chemicals in danger. Dangerous goods are placed into these four classes based on certain characteristics, such as whether they’re harmful and if they will burn or react with other chemicals. The 4 general hazard classes are: Flammable & Combustible Liquids (Class 1), Flammable & Combustible Solids (Class 2), Oxidizing Materials (Class 3), Poisonous & Infectious Substances (Class 4), Automotive batteries fall under Class 9.
Is the chemical flammable?
Many people assume that car batteries are dangerous because they contain large amounts of flammable lead. However, car batteries are not classified as a flammable substance. Instead, they fall into the category of a pressurized fluid or gaseous substance, which are both considered to be generally non-hazardous. One exception is when automotive batteries discharge, releasing gases and caustic chemicals like sulfuric acid that can cause chemical burns if handled improperly.
Does the chemical have corrosive properties?
Automotive batteries have corrosive properties, as well as thermal and physical hazards. When dealing with automotive batteries, ensure to wear gloves and eye protection at all times when handling them.
Automotive batteries are an example of the Miscellaneous Hazardous Material(Class 9). The primary hazard of automotive batteries is that its discharge can cause chemical burns. Also, these batteries are heavy and if it falls on someone, can cause injuries.