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Evaluating the Reactivity Hazards of Waste

Serious incidents over the past several years have highlighted the risks of fire, explosion, and toxic gas release caused by the improper storage and handling of waste materials. Common in each of these incidents were organizational breakdowns that allowed reactive materials to come in contact with each other during treatment or after being placed in containers.

Knowledge is the key to controlling reactive hazards caused by waste materials. Understanding the nature of the material being handled, the risks each present, and the consequences of mixing incompatible components will guard against catastrophe and protect lives. This Focus Article discusses:

  • The causes of waste material reactive hazards
  • Steps to controlling the risks
  • How to identify hazards in waste materials to avoid incidents
  • The types of equipment used to determine reactivity