Some common hazardous materials include corrosive substances, such as sodium hydroxide, vehicle batteries, fireplace cleaners and plating wastes, states EnviroStars. Others include ignitable liquids that can cause fires through spontaneous chemical changes and friction, including some dry cleaning chemicals, waste inks, acetones and solvents. Some hazardous materials are classified as persistent and contain organic compounds along with iodine, bromine, chlorine and fluorine, including methylene chloride and metal-cutting oils.
Some hazardous materials are reactive, becoming unstable and violently and rapidly changing when exposed to pressure, heat or water, notes EnviroStars. Some of these include cyanide, perchlorates, peroxides and chromic acids. Others are toxic, containing high levels of heavy metals or pesticides, including oil and transmission fluids, paint sludges and photo fixer waste.
Common materials considered hazardous include metal wastes, such as zinc, copper, mercury or lead, and electronic waste, such as computer monitors, reports EnviroStars. Cleaning products, lead-acid vehicle batteries, pesticides, chlorinated and degreasing solvents and oil-based paints are some examples. Fluorescent light bulbs and bulb ballasts, and inks, coatings and paints that contain heavy-metal pigments are additional sources of hazardous wastes. EnviroStars offers a downloadable PDF with information about what makes waste or material hazardous, available on its website for free.