Tag Archives: hazardous

The Hazards of Deicing Chemicals – Is it really OK to breathe?

The plane is being deiced prior to take off, you smell a somewhat sweet odor, and then the pilot makes an announcement that the odor from the deicing chemical is nothing to worry about. Really? What is that deicing chemical being sprayed on the plane? Is it really OK to breathe in those vapors for a few minutes? Here’s a breakdown of the health, environmental, and hazards of deicing chemicals. Continue reading

What Makes Hazardous Waste Hazardous?

Simpsons Haz Waste Poster, via SafetyPoster.com

Despite Mr. Burns worst intentions, radioactive waste is not hazardous waste. Image via SafetyPoster.com

I am asked some version of this question or need to explain it nearly every month. What makes hazardous waste hazardous? Is this hazardous waste? What’s in hazardous waste?

The answer provided here isn’t intended for an environmental professional or hazardous material manager. It is for everyone else. No regulations, no citations, and nothing technical. Actually, I know a lot of environmental professionals who don’t work in the hazmat/waste field who would benefit from this. If you want the technical definitions and regulations, you can get them here from the EPA.

I’ve found that people have a generic, catch-all perspective that hazardous waste is all the “toxic stuff we have to throw out”. It is not a generic term. It has very specific characteristics and determinations.

Q: What is hazardous waste? Continue reading