When it comes to packaging and shipping of hazardous materials, proper labeling that can withstand the rigors of the distribution cycle – from manufacturing, transportation, and storage to final use by the end consumer – cannot be emphasized enough.

Why Label Materials Matter

The ability to withstand arduous conditions – including sunlight, extreme temperatures, moisture, and chemical exposure – while remaining legible and affixed to the packaging is a necessity since HazMat packages can experience environments with these conditions while in storage or transit. 

If a label becomes illegible or falls off of HazMat packaging, it can become difficult or impossible to know how to properly handle the package. There are several penalties that a shipper and carrier can incur including fines between $50,000-$100,000, jail sentences for criminal charges, and other potential additional costs and delays as a result of non-compliance. Transportation companies will not ship dangerous goods without proper labeling and matching paperwork. Applying the proper labels that are made with the right materials and adhesive keeps you compliant and can help keep everyone safe.

Labels Made for the Toughest Conditions

How do you know what the right label material is for the environment that your product will experience? Let the ICC Compliance Center team give you an overview of a few of the common conditions that labels may experience, and recommend which material is likely a best fit for each.

Don’t Let Labels Slip Off of Oily Surfaces

Greasy, oily drums can become a real concern for anyone shipping dangerous goods in them. Whether the drum or packaging you’re using is being re-used or is new, if you’re shipping an oily product or working in slick conditions, there’s a probability that your packaging will pick up some residue or other surface contamination. When this happens, having a label that will adhere to your packaging without much – or better yet, any! – advanced cleaning prep is going to save you time, help keep you compliant, and put your mind at ease. 

At ICC, we have a range of labels made with vinyl and are equipped with a high tack adhesive to keep your label legible and sticking to the dangerous goods packaging it belongs to, even when exposed to stubborn and slick petroleum-based oils and grease. 

Labels That Can Stand Up to Heat & Cold

When a package with labels is exposed to hot or cold temperatures, these conditions can affect labels in several ways: 

  • Labels can lose their adhesiveness and fall off as a result temperature changes.
  • Overexposure to UV rays and light from the sun and heat can cause labels to fade or melt.
  • Freezing temperatures or winter weather can cause labels to become soggy and tear and can make ink run making them illegible. 

All of these circumstances can make it difficult or impossible to identify the nature of the contents on the inside of the package – which would result in non-compliance, significant fines, and delays. 

At ICC, our labels are customizable and can withstand even the harshest of conditions, and most demanding industries and applications. Our polyester and vinyl labels are suitable for outdoor environments and are engineered to be extremely durable, withstanding temperatures as cold as -40°F and up to an impressive +302°F (-40°C to +150°C). We also create labels for temperature sensitive packages, indicating to avoid heat, not to freeze, or if a dangerous goods package contains frozen or hot products. 

Humidity, Wet Surfaces, & Other Extreme Conditions

Dangerous goods packages are shipped all over the world, so labels need to be able to stand up to the dryness they may experience in one environment, the humidity that they may experience in the next, and any condensation that may accumulate along the way. If the product is a chemical or mixture that is classified as an Acute Aquatic Hazard Category 1 or Chronic Aquatic hazard Category 1 or 2, and is being shipped via ocean, it needs to pass BS5609 requirements for 90-day sea immersion, and requires Marine Pollutants labeling.  

With all of these considerations, using a label with a high-tack adhesive and the proper material – polyester or vinyl – will keep your labels affixed to your packaging and legible, helping to keep you compliant and everyone safe. 

Customized Labels That Are Built to Last

Regardless of the demands of the environment, storage or shipping conditions, and specifications of the hazardous materials being contained, your labels are an important component of your company’s hazard communications plan. Labels quickly and efficiently communicate the potentially dangerous contents of packages to anyone handling and shipping them. 

Dangerous goods being shipped throughout the United States and Canada require labels that meet regulatory requirements dictated by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Identification System (WHMIS) in Canada. Both of these regulatory bodies will conduct random checks of labels to ensure that they are compliant. 

We can print custom text labels with the information from your Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to help you provide anyone that is handling and shipping your hazardous materials with accurate and complete information. 

An All-In-One Label Solution

While it’s useful for you to know the different label materials for shipping hazardous goods, our experts at ICC Compliance Center are here to help you find the best fit for your chemical and HazMat products. 

At ICC Compliance Center, we print custom labels that have been engineered with the highest quality adhesive and materials that stand up to the rigors of the conditions that they will experience. Our team will work with you to understand your dangerous goods and the climates that they encounter to create an accurate, cost-effective, and reliable labeling solution for you. 

Connect with our experts today to discuss your labeling requirements!

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We have all the products, services and training you need to ensure your staff is properly trained and informed.

Blank Labels

Temperature Sensitive Label, 4″ x 4″, Gloss Paper, 500/Roll

Marine Pollutant Labels

Custom Labeling Services