RoadSafe Europe

Dangerous Goods & transport training and consultancy

On this page you will find definitions of some common chemistry, transport and technical terms. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you can't find the term you're after please feel free to contact us by clicking HERE, and we'll do our best to assist you.

A

  • Absorption
    • A process in which one substance, usually a liquid or gas, is taken into the body of another.
  • ACHS
    • Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances
  • Acid
    • A substance with a pH reading of 0-7
  • ACOP
    • Approved Code Of Practice
  • ADR
    • "l'Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route." The European agreement concerning the carriage of Dangerous Goods by road
  • Adsorption
    • A process where materials stick to the surface of a solid body
  • Aerobic
    • Operating in the presence of Oxygen
  • Agrochemicals
    • Substances used for agricultural purposes, includes fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and plant growth regulators.
  • Alkali
    • A substance with a pH reading 0f 7-14
  • Anaerobic
    • Operating in the absence of Oxygen

B

  • BA
    • Breathing Apparatus
  • Becquerel (Bq)
    • A unit of radioactivity
  • Biodegradable
    • Having the ability to decompose through the action of bacteria
  • BOD
    • Biological/Biochemical Oxygen Demand

C

  • CAA
    • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Carcinogen
    • A substance which causes cancer
  • CEFIC
    • Conseil Europée d l’Industrie Chemique
  • CFCs
    • Chlorofluorocarbons
  • CHIP
    • Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging) Regulations
  • CIA
    • Chemical Industries Association
  • Clinical waste
    • Any waste which consists wholly or partly of human or animal tissue, blood or other body fluids, excretions, pharmaceuticals, dressings, sharps etc
  • COD
    • Chemical Oxygen Demand
  • Consignee
    • The receiver of the Dangerous Goods
  • Consignment Note
    • The Transport document used for the carriage of Hazardous Wastes in the UK
  • Consignor
    • The sender of the Dangerous Goods
  • Contaminated Land
    • Land which because of it’s current or previous use has substances under, on or in it which may be hazardous to life or the environment
  • Controlled Waste
    • Wastes from households, industry and commerce, excluding mines, quarries, sewage and some radioactive wastes.
  • COSHH
    • Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • COTC
    • Certificate Of Technical Competence
  • CPC
    • Certificate of Professional Competence (for transport managers and drivers)
  • Cryogenic gas
    • A gas liquefied by super-cooling to below -100 degC
  • CWC
    • Chemical Weapons Convention

D

  • DfT
    • Department for Transport
  • DGN
    • Dangerous Goods Note
  • DGSA
    • Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser
  • Dioxins
    • Collective name for a group of compounds called dibenzo-p-dioxins.

E

  • EA
    • Environment Agency
  • Ecotoxics
    • Substances or preparations, which present an immediate risk to the environment.
  • Effluent
    • Any waste liquid from an industrial process
  • EINECS
    • European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances
  • Element
    • A substance that cannot be reduced chemically into a simpler substance.
  • ELVs
    • End-of-Life Vehicles
  • Emergency Action Code
    • Code shown on UK tankers and bulk vehicles giving safety information for the Emergency Services
  • EmS
    • Emergency Schedules (for fire, spillages and first aid, found in the IMDG code)
  • EPA
    • Environmental Protection Agency (USA)
  • EWC
    • European Waste Catalogue
  • Exotherm
    • A chemical reaction which causes heat to be given out

F

  • Fauna
    • The animals of a region
  • Flash Point
    • The lowest temperature of a liquid at which its vapour may form a flammable mixture with air, abbreviated by Fpt.
  • Flora
    • The plants and trees of a region
  • Fly-tipping
    • The illegal depositing of waste

H

  • Half-Life
    • The time taken for half the atoms of a radioactive isotope to disintegrate.
  • Hazard class
    • Nine divisions of dangerous goods determined by their primary risk
  • Hazardous Waste
    • Wastes identified in the Hazardous Waste and List of Wastes Regulations 2005
  • Heavy Metals
    • Generally refers to Arsenic, Antimony, Cadmium, Chromium, copper, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Selenium and Zinc.
  • HSE
    • Health and Safety Executive
  • Hydrocarbons
    • Organic compounds consisting of Carbon and Hydrogen

I

  • IATA
    • International Air Transport Association
  • IBC
    • Intermediate Bulk Container
  • ICAO
    • International Civil Aviation Organisation
  • IMDG Code
    • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code
  • IMO
    • International Maritime Organisation
  • Inert
    • Inactive or unreactive
  • Inorganic
    • A material based on any chemical element other than carbon
  • ISPS code
    • International Ship and Port facilities Security code
  • IWM
    • Institute of Wastes Management

K

  • Kemler Code
    • A similar system to the UK’s Emergency Action Code, used throughout Europe to identify the primary hazard of liquids or solids in tankers

L

  • Label
    • A diamond shape indicating a UN hazard class
  • Landfill tax
    • Announced in the Budget of Nov. 1994 as a tax intended to encourage recycling and discourage landfilling of waste.
  • LC50
    • Lethal concentration of a gas or vapour that will kill 50% of all organisms exposed to it.
  • LD50
    • Lethal dose of a substance that will kill 50% of all organisms exposed to that dose.
  • Leachate
    • Contaminated waters running off of, or percolating through a landfill site
  • LEL
    • Lower Explosive Limit.
  • Limited Quantities
    • A method of carrying Dangerous Goods that are exempted from most legislation by virtue of the small volumes in each package.
  • Load Limit
    • The quantity of dangerous goods that must be loaded onto a vehicle at which the ADR regulations will be fully applied.
  • LPG
    • Propane or Butane (or a mixture of the two) which has been liquefied for transport

M

  • Marks
    • Information attached to a package or vehicle other that a label or placard
  • MARPOL
    • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARine POLlutant)
  • MEL
    • Maximum Exposure Limit
  • MFAG
    • Medical First Aid Guide (in IMDG)
  • Mutagen
    • An agent capable of modifying the DNA in the genes, causing mutations.

N

  • NOS
    • Not Otherwise Specified

O

  • OEL
    • Occupational Exposure Limit
  • Organic
    • Pertaining to carbon
  • Oxidizer
    • A material that has the ability to provide oxygen to a chemical reaction

P

  • Packing Group
    • A method of indicating varying risks posed by different substances within a single UN class. PGI- most dangerous, PGII – medium danger, PGIII – Least danger
  • PCB
    • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (see Class 9 substances)
  • Petrochemicals
    • Chemicals derived from petroleum, hydrocarbon liquids or natural gas.
  • Phytotoxic
    • Poisonous to plants
  • Placard
    • Essentially a large chemical hazard diamond attached to a vehicle or tank
  • PSN
    • Proper Shipping Name
  • Putrescible Wastes
    • Wastes, which consist of plant or animal residues which undergo bacteriological degradation when landfilled.

R

  • Registered Carrier
    • A person registered to transport controlled waste
  • RID
    • The European agreement for the carriage of Dangerous Goods by rail - Reglement concernant le transport International ferroviare des merchandises Dangereuses
  • Ro/Ro
    • Roll On-Roll Off, a design of ferry
  • Rollonoff
    • A Roll On-Roll Off waste container, usually of 11- 28M3 capacity

S

  • SADT
    • Spontaneous Auto-Decomposition Temperature
  • SIN
    • Substance Identification Number – As UN number
  • SLF
    • Secondary Liquid Fuel: Waste flammable liquids used to fire cement kilns
  • SOLAS
    • Safety Of Life At Sea
  • Solvent
    • Liquid that has the ability to dissolve other substances

T

  • Teratogenic
    • Capable of causing abnormal development of the embryo and congenital  malformations (From terato = monster (Greek))
  • TLV
    • Threshold Limit Value
  • TOC
    • Total Organic Carbon
  • TOVALOP
    • Tanker Owners Voluntary Agreement Concerning Liability for Oil Pollution
  • Transfer Note
    • A document which identifies waste that is transported
  • Transport Category
    • Materials are assigned to a category of 0-4 in order to determine the Load Limits at which ADR regulation is applied

U

  • UEL
    • Upper Explosive Limit.
  • UN Number
    • An internationally recognised four-digit identification number for an item of Dangerous Goods

V

  • VOC
    • Volatile Organic Carbon
  • VTC
    • Vocational Training Certificate (a.k.a. ADR licence)

W

  • WAMITAB
    • Waste Management Industry Training Advisory Board