HAZARDOUS MATERIAL CONTROL
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 todays
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,
PROPERTIES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
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
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
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