ADR transport: the transportation of risky goods
Hazardous substances are also called ADR goods. ADR stands for “Accord européen relatief au transport international de marchandises Dangereuses par Route” and relates to the international transportation of dangerous goods. The transport of substances, for instance from supplier to customer, is a separate discipline within the transportation industry. For transporting ADR goods are special laws and regulations applied to make sure that the transport is as safe as possible. An example of this is that the truck drivers need to be in possession of certain certificates.
Types of ADR
Not all dangerous goods have the same properties. For this reason, the hazardous substances are classified into different ADR hazard classes. These classes combine a group of substances that have similar in hazardous and have similar features:
Class 1: Explosive substances and items
These are substances and articles that have a risk of mass explosion. The moment one item explodes, all the items that are near that particular item will also explode. These are for example fireworks and weapons.
Class 2: Gases
In the second class are gases that have been compressed, liquefied or are under pressure. These gases include flammable, suffocating, toxic, oxidizing or corrosive. Flammable gases can easily catch fire if they come into contact with an ignition source, such as a match, spark or cigarette. Suffocating gases can cause severely damage to the lungs, causing instant suffocation. An example of this gas is chlorine gas. Toxic gases are gases that (can) have a lethal effect if they are inhaled or enter the body in a different way. An example of toxic gas is carbon monoxide. Oxidizing gases are gases that can cause or contribute to a fire if they come into contact with an oxidizing component such as oxygen. Corrosive gases are depleting and corrosive to, for example, the skin. An example of a corrosive gas is hydrogen gas.
Class 3: Flammable liquids
Class three includes all flammable liquids and solids in a molten stat with a flash point greater than 60 degrees Celsius. Examples of flammable liquids are gasoline, kerosene and gas and diesel fuel.
Class 4: Combustibles
In class four are three divisions distinct:
Class 4.1: Flammable solids
These are solids which can easily be ignited, for example by friction. Examples of solid combustibles are molten sulfur, phosphorus and red phosphorus sulphides.
Class 4.2: Substances susceptible for spontaneous combustion
These substances can be ignited without an ignition source. This class also covers other substances which are susceptible to self-heating. Some substances are so sensitive that they need to be transported in water or under nitrogen. Phosphorus is an example of a substance that is susceptible to spontaneous combustion.
Class 4.3: Substances that emit flammable gases when in contact with water
Certain substances can emit flammable gases when they come in contact with water. These “mixtures” are easily ignited by ordinary ignition sources such as unprotected light bulbs and sparks. When the mixture is ignited, shock waves and large flames occur.
Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
Oxidants and organic peroxides are not much of a danger themselves, but can cause a dangerous reaction when they come into contact with other substances. In class five are two types of substances:
Class 5.1: Oxidizing substances
Oxidizing substances are not self-combustible, but can cause or enhance the combustion of other materials. Substances in class 5.1 are also called “oxygen carriers”. The chemically unstable substances of in this class cannot be transported, unless all necessary measures are taken to ensure that these do not cause dangerous reactions.
Class 5.2: Organic peroxides
Organic peroxides are substances containing an oxygen component and a flammable component, making them chemically unstable. When these substances decompose, they can cause violent reactions. The decomposition may be caused by, for example, heat or friction.
Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances
In this class there is a distinction between toxic or poisonous and infectious substances:
Class 6.1: Toxic substances
Toxic substances are substances which are known of or can be assumed of that they are even in small amounts are harmful for people when they are inhaled, absorbed through the sink or swallowed. An example of a toxic substance is pesticide, such as rat poison.
Class 6.2: Infectious substances
These are substance which are known of or can be assumed to be pathogenic (such as bacteria, viruses, parasites an fungi) for humans or animals. An example of an infectious substance is the Ebola virus and a vaccine.
Class 7: Radioactive materials
Radioactive materials can emit invisible radiation. The dangers of radioactive materials are mainly radiation hazard and the risk of contamination. Radioactive materials are used in, for example, radiation and X-ray equipment. An example of a radioactive material is uranium.
Class 8: Corrosive substances
Corrosive substances can seriously affect the upper layer of the skin or the mucous membranes (or other surfaces that the substances come into contact with). An example of a corrosive substance is hydrochloric acid.
Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and items
In this class are all materials and items that can have a hazardous effect during transport and does not lie within the other classes. Examples of hazardous substances that are in class nine are asbestos and lithium batteries.
Besides that the ADR goods need to be labeled and packaged correctly first, there are special rules regarding the transportation of ADR goods. To be allowed to transport ADR goods, the vehicle that will be used to do this, needs to comply with strict regulations: if something goes wrong, it can have extreme consequents for the human health or the environment. In the Netherlands, certain ADR vehicles must be inspected regularly by the RDW.
Specially certified drivers
The transport of hazardous materials demands specialized drivers that carry out the transport carefully. Therefore, drivers who transport dangerous goods need to be in possession of an ADR vocational training certificate. This certificate is valid for five years and can only be issued by an accredited ARD education center. Moreover, the driver needs to have an ADR kit with the obligatory equipment with him.
Requirements ADR vehicles
Besides the usual requirements that the vehicles need to comply to, the vehicles that are used to transport ADR need to meet many additional requirements, concerning the construction, the motor, wiring and other components of the vehicle. For example, there need to be an ADR equipment kit and two different fire extinguishers in the truck that transports ADR substances. In addition to this, vehicles that are used to transport certain ADR goods, need to be inspected annually to determine whether they meet the special ADR requirements.
Transport of dangerous goods over sea
Hazardous substances that are transported by means of sea freight are not called ADR goods, but IMDG. This stands for International Maritime Dangerous Goods. The IMDG Code contains all the provisions that are related to maritime transport of dangerous substances and uses the same classes as ADR substances.
Transport of dangerous goods by air
Also in the transport of dangerous goods by means of airfreight, are the dangerous goods not called ADR goods, but simply Dangerous Goods. When these goods are transported by air, they need to comply to the so-called “IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Code”. The organization IATA uses more or less the same hazard classes as ADR goods.
ADR transport at HST Groep
Do you need to transport hazardous materials by land, by air or through the water? HST Groep can be of service. HST arranges the transport for you, but can also inform you about the packaging requirements and packaging requirements of dangerous goods and substances. In addition to this, HST Groep can also store ADR goods in-house. Request a free and non-binding offer now, to find out what HST can do for you when it comes to the transportation of hazardous materials and goods.