The hazardous material control program is a Navywide program to enforce the correct storage, handling, usage, and disposition of hazardous material. Hazardous waste disposal is a serious concern in today's Naval Construction Force. Cleaners, acids, mastics, sealers, and ever-paints are just a few of the hazardous materials that may be present in your shop or on your project site. As screw leader, you are responsible for the safety and protection of your crew. You are equally responsible for the protection of the environment. There are stiff fines and penalties that apply to NCF work as well as civilian work for not protecting the environment! You are not expected to be an expert in this area. You should, however, immediately contact the environmental representative or the safety office in case of any environmental problem (spill, permits, planning, and such).
Few discarded materials are so compatible with the environment or so inert as to have no short-or long-term impact. Hazards that appear minor may have unexpected impacts long after disposal. When two or more hazards pertain to a material, the lesser may not receive the necessary consideration. Mixing of two discarded substances may result in a chemical reaction with severe and unexpected consequences.
Since waste is generally a mixture of many components, its physical and chemical properties cannot be defined with any degree of accuracy. Whenever possible, the approximate composition of a hazardous waste should be ascertained from the originating source or from the manifest accompanying the waste being transported. Generally, when one component predominates, the physical and chemical properties of the waste mixture are nearly those of the major component. This is not true for the hazardous properties of waste mixtures consisting of a relatively harmless major component and small amounts of highly toxic, radioactive, or etiologically (disease producing) active components. The hazard, in this case, is determined by the smaller component.
The EPA defines hazardous solid waste as any material that has the potential to do the following:
1. Cause, or significantly contribute to, an increase in mortality or any serious, irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness.
2. Pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when the hazardous material is improperly stored, treated, transported, or disposed of.
By EPA standards, the determining factor for a material to be classified as hazardous waste is that it must meet one or more of the conditions of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.
It is a liquid, other than an aqueous solution, containing less than 24 percent alcohol by volume and has a closed-cup flash point of less than 60°C (140°F).
It is not a liquid and is capable under standard temperature and pressure of causing fire through friction, absorption of moisture, or spontaneous chemical changes and, when ignited, burns so vigorously and persistently that it creates a hazard.
It is an ignitable, flammable compressed gas, which is defined as a gas that forms a flammable mixture when mixed with air at a concentration less than 13 percent (by volume) or has a flammability range with air that is greater than 12 percent, regardless of its lower flammable limit.
It is an oxidizer, such as a chlorate, permanganate, inorganic peroxide, nitrocarbo nitrate, or a nitrate that yields oxygen readily to stimulate the combustion of organic matter.
It is an aqueous solution and has a pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5.
It is a liquid, and it corrodes steel at a rate greater than 6.35 mm (0.25 inch) per year at a test temperature of 55°C (130°F).
It is normally unstable and readily undergoes violent change without detonating.
It reacts violently with water.
It forms potentially explosive mixtures with water. When mixed with water, it generates toxic gases, vapors, or fumes in a quantity sufficient to present a danger to human health or to the environment.
It is a cyanide- or sulfide-bearing waste that, when exposed to pH conditions between 2 and 12.5, can generate toxic gases, vapors, or fumes in a quantity sufficient to present a danger to human health or to the environment.Continue Reading