Unified Metrics Library - Hazardous waste
Some waste can be harmful, toxic, flammable, corrosive or reactive. Hazardous waste requires special handling, storage, and disposal procedures to prevent harm to people and the environment. Hazardous waste can originate from various sources, including industrial processes, healthcare facilities, laboratories, households, and agricultural activities.
"Hazardous waste" means hazardous waste as defined in Article 3(2) of Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and radioactive waste.
These are further detailed in Annex III:
- H1. "Explosive": substances and preparations which may explode under the effect of flame or which are more sensitive to shocks or friction than dinitrobenzene.
- H2. "Oxidizing": substances and preparations which exhibit highly exothermic reactions when in contact with other substances, particularly flammable substances.
- H3-A. "Highly flammable"
- liquid substances and preparations having a flash point below 21 °C (including extremely flammable liquids), or
- substances and preparations which may become hot and finally catch fire in contact with air at ambient temperature without any application of energy, or
- solid substances and preparations which may readily catch fire after brief contact with a source of ignition and which continue to burn or to be consumed after removal of the source of ignition, or
- gaseous substances and preparations which are flammable in air at normal pressure, or
- substances and preparations which, in contact with water or damp air, evolve highly flammable gases in dangerous quantities.
- H3-B."Flammable": liquid substances and preparations having a flash point equal to or greater than 21 °C and less than or equal to 55 °C.
- H4. "Irritant": non-corrosive substances and preparations which, through immediate, prolonged or repeated contact with the skin or mucous membrane, can cause inflammation.
- H5. "Harmful": substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may involve limited health risks.
- H6. "Toxic": substances and preparations (including very toxic substances and preparations) which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may involve serious, acute or chronic health risks and even death.
- H7. "Carcinogenic": substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce cancer or increase its incidence.
- H8. "Corrosive": substances and preparations which may destroy living tissue on contact.
- H9. "Infectious": substances and preparations containing viable micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in man or other living organisms.
- H10. "Toxic for reproduction": substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce non-hereditary congenital malformations or increase their incidence.
- H11. "Mutagenic": substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or ingested or if they penetrate the skin, may induce hereditary genetic defects or increase their incidence.
- H12. Waste which releases toxic or very toxic gases in contact with water, air or an acid.
- H13. "Sensitizing": substances and preparations which, if they are inhaled or if they penetrate the skin, are capable of eliciting a reaction of hypersensitization such that on further exposure to the substance or preparation, characteristic adverse effects are produced.
- H14. "Ecotoxic": waste which presents or may present immediate or delayed risks for one or more sectors of the environment.
- H15. Waste capable by any means, after disposal, of yielding another substance, e.g. a leachate, which possesses any of the characteristics listed above.
A chemical manufacturing plant produces a variety of chemical products used in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and industrial applications. The hazardous waste generated in this industrial facility includes:
Toxic Waste: Chemicals containing heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, are used in the production process, resulting in toxic by-products (10 tonnes).
Flammable Waste: Some chemical reactions produce volatile organic compounds that are highly flammable (5 tonnes).
Reactive Waste: Certain chemical reactions result in waste that can react violently when exposed to air, water, or other substances (2 tonnes).
Therefore, the company produced 17 tonnes of hazardous waste this year.