Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) refers to the substances in forms that have the capacity to post a reasonable threat to health, property, and surrounding. In the context of this article, HAZMAT is used to connote substances that result from the transportation system. Notably, the hazardous materials have caused several issues related to health, property damage and surrounding. It is vital to state that HAZMAT regulations have changed over the years and have affected the various areas of transportation, which were not there before. HAZMAT can be released in the form of liquids, gases, solid, or in combination of them (Nicolet-Monnier & Gheorghe, 2013). Based on the magnitude of adverse effects of hazardous materials in transportation, it is important to conduct a risk assessment and investigate the possible solutions to them. The carriage of dangerous goods is controlled and managed by diverse regulatory regimes that operate domestically and internationally.
Hazards Identification: Based on the Literature Review
It is vital to state that some materials are very hazardous to an extent that they are called forbidden. Besides, it is not easy to list all the hazardous materials, and some of them need unique review and approval. Some of them are likely to cause the terrifying evolution of heat and create flammable gases while others are packages that produce vapor that is liable to cause flammable mixture with air transport. The Hazardous materials include explosives, which includes all the materials that can conflagrate because of chemical reactions. They are categorized differently based on the degree of explosion. For example, items in subdivision 1.1 are characterized by mass explosion hazard while those in 1.2 have a projection threat, but not mass explosion hazard. Some of the explosives include cartridges, fireworks, fuse, primers, igniters, rockets, blasting caps, among others. The other category is gases, and they are defined as substances that have the vapor pressure of more than 300 kPa (Nicolet-Monnier & Gheorghe, 2013). They also have subdivisions, which are based on whether they are compressed, liquefied, dissolved, refrigerated, and mixed. Commonly gases are aerosols, compressed air, carbon, oil gas, ethane, lighters, among others.
The next class of the hazard in transport is flammable liquids. Here, there are no subdivisions, and they include gas oil, diesel and aviation fuels, tars, resins, among others (Nicolet-Monnier & Gheorghe, 2013). Flammable solids are the next hazards in the transportation, which refer to substances that are responsible for spontaneous combustion, especially when they come into contact with water. They are subdivided into three categories. They are alkali metals, metal powders, sodium batteries calcium carbide, oil fabrics, among others. Oxidizing substances are also hazards in transportation. They are divided into two categories, which are organic peroxides and oxidizing substances. Examples of oxidizing agents are nitrates, nitrites, Calcium nitrate, and others. Toxic materials are also hazardous to transportation. In fact, they can cause death or severe injuries, especially when inhaled and swallowed. They also have some subdivisions. Some of them are acid, allyls, dyes, clinical wastes, arsenates, among others. The other group of hazards in transportation is radioactive materials, which include radioactive ores, medical isotopes, surface contaminated objects, among others. Corrosives form the other category of hazard substances (Tena-Chollet, Tixier, Dusserre, & Mangin, 2013). They include, but not limited to acids, batteries, flux, nitric acid, bromine, among others. The last category this paper identifies is miscellaneous dangerous goods, which refer to goods that post danger that is not covered in other classes. Here, there are no subdivisions, but there are many and adversely affect various aspects of the environment.
The Impacts of Transportation Hazard in the Environment Based on Research
It is vital to state that shipping hazards adversely affect the environment differently. Notably, the environment in this context refers to everything that is it. The activities of transport sector release trillions of tons of gases into the atmosphere annually. As a result, there is climate change. Although the extent to which emissions impact climate has not been defined, it is evident that its degree is high (Tena et al., 2013). For example, the depletion of ozone layer is associated with nitrous gas. The quality of air is also impacted by the transport system. Evidently, transportation is the source of all sorts of pollutions, affecting the quality of air. It is vital to state that the quality of air affects the quality of life. Emissions, such as the one of nitrogen dioxide interferes with lung functioning, affect the respiratory, immune defense and augment the risks of respiratory issues (Verma, Verter & Zufferey, 2012). Besides, some emissions, such as sulphur dioxide release acids that interfere with crop production. Moreover, the reduction of visibility that results from smog has several undesirable consequences on the value of life and prettiness of sightseer sites. Some of the transport systems are associated with loud noise, which hampers audibility range and impacts individuals’ physical and mental well-being. It is worrying to note that noise that emanates from transportation augments the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The quality of water is also affected (Verma et al., 2012). Fuel and chemicals that are discarded from aircraft, vehicles, and trains contaminate hydrographic systems. The activities that promote water transport, such as dredging worsen water quality. Oil spills from cargo accidents are the most severe issues of pollutions that emanate from shipping. The quality of the soil is also affected by hazardous materials from transportation. Evidently, they cause soil erosion and contamination. There is a loss of soil fertility due to activities that are focused on promoting all types of transportations. HAZMAT transportation impacts biodiversity negatively (Verma et al., 2012). For example, the need for construction materials as well as development results in deforestation. There is a restriction of growth of particular plants by stabilizing slopes along the transportation facilities. Lastly, the land is also affected, especially urban outlook. In fact, there is the disintegration of social and economic cohesion in an attempt to develop transport infrastructures. Besides, the quality of life of urban people because of the barriers that are created by physical barriers, noise, odors, and reducing aesthetic.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In conclusion, HAZMAT transportation is diverse and cannot be discussed in a single document. What is explicit is that there are there several hazardous materials that result from transportation. In fact, all of them could not be listed, but it does not imply that those that have not been discussed have no impact on the environment. Notably, there are costs that are associated with HAZMAT transportation. Based on the adverse consequences, it is evident that states, as well as federal governments, spend enormous resources to address the issues. In this view, it is important to come up with measures to reduce adverse impacts of the hazardous materials. Therefore, the following recommendations will be useful if implemented:
First, the government should develop and implement strict policies that ensure that HAZMAT from transport is reduced. Here, it is important to consider all measures that address the problems associated with materials that are a threat to the environment.
Second, the creation of awareness is important especially to the members of the transport sector. Awareness should include knowledge regarding how to mitigate the risks associated with transport. In fact, this will play a pivotal role based on the fact that knowledge is power.
Third, considering the fact that hazardous materials cause unreasonable risks to health, safety, and property, it is important that government evaluates the degree of the issues and develop the best forms of transport to reduce HAZMAT, just as Verma and colleagues (2012) contend.
Finally, severe fines should be imposed on organizations that do not adhere to regulations that control HAZMAT in the transport system. Notably, the organization should abide by corporate social responsibility, and if they fail, stern actions should be taken against them.
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