What are dangerous goods?
Dangerous goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or to property when transported by air. A look at the garden shed or under the kitchen sink will reveal a wide array of items which are potentially dangerous goods. A few examples of household objects include pesticides, acids, aerosols, perfumes, bleaches, matches, cigarette lighters, camping stoves with liquid fuel or compressed gas, anything that contains or has contained petrol, such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, brush cutters, model air craft etc, batteries, fireworks, sparklers.
You are comfortable storing theses items at home or carrying them in your car because you are aware of the risks associated with them and takes appropriate precautions. However, move them into an unfamiliar environment such as an aircraft and the situation changes.
Classes of dangerous goods
The international community has created a classification system of nine primary classes of dangerous goods. Some classes have been sub-divided in order to adequately describe the nature of the properties of the individual goods.
There is a label for each class/division to convey the nature of the hazard. These labels must appear on the outside of the package when it is offered for transport and mist remains on the package while it is in transit. They will also be found on most inner packages such as aerosol cans, bottle of bleach, containers of thinners, tins of paint etc that you purchase in the in the supermarket.
How else can I tell if the goods are dangerous?
Firstly look for a diamond-shaped hazard label on the container.
If you can't see a labels then look for a UN number. This will be the letter UN followed by for numeral digits-such as UN 1950 or UN 1197.
Also look to see if a Hazard Class is written on the container-quite often it will have something like "Class 5.1"or "Corrosive".
In the event that you head & heart tell you it's dangerous but you can't see any of these indicators Data sheet (MSDS) on the internet.
One option is to go to your preferred search engine and type in the manufacturer of your product, then the letters MSDS, then the product name. Alternatively you can use an MSDS search site such as: www.msdssearch.com/DBLinksN.htm. When you have the MSDS then look for the entries UNxxxx, Hazard Class and transport information.
What you will find in an MSDS?
If else fails-then ring the manufacture/distributor using the customer information phone number found on most household product.
Sending dangerous goods
There are several options available that will allow you to sent dangerous goods safely and legally.