Automotive batteries are an example of which hazard class?

Hazardous items are those items that can cause some harm to humans or animals when carrying or transporting. The Department of Transportation, United States has separated Hazardous materials into 9 classes. Automotive Batteries fall in the 8th class of hazardous materials. Automotive Batteries have a tendency to cause certain harm to their surroundings if not handled with care. They fall under reactive or corrosive substances. Automotive Batteries have a certain type of acid inside them which is known as sulfuric acid. When sulfuric acid comes in contact with human or animal skin, clothes, etc, it causes burning which can lead to serious harm.

When it comes to naming the types of batteries, the list will go long. Moreover, all automotive Batteries do not come under the same Hazardous class. While dealing with them, one has to make sure to know about the pros and cons of such batteries. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have categorized different automotive Batteries under different hazardous classes. However, most vehicles use lead acid batteries which operate with an internal combustion engine that falls under Hazardous class 8. On the other hand, lithium batteries fall under Hazardous class 9. These batteries are usually used in hybrid and electric vehicles. The dealers should be careful while handling both types of batteries since more or less both types of batteries can cause serious harm.

Legal issues that can arise

Since different batteries fall under different hazardous classes thus they have different ways of handling, marking, labeling, and packaging. These steps need to be followed religiously to avoid any serious mishapping. Government has listed some rules and regulations which if not followed properly might disturb operating with such batteries to a certain extent. The legal problems that might be created include shipping delays, the government may impose heavy fines, career-imposed fines, etc. They might even arrest and take one to jail if any unfortunate incident happens.

Types of batteries

Mainly there are two types of batteries that are used mostly. Flooded batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Both contained different components and also fall under different hazard classes.

Flooded batteries:-

Flooded batteries are unsealed batteries. They are prepared in the most common style and contain lead acid inside them. However, the Hazardous part is that the liquid present inside them is kept in an unsealed container. Since the liquid remains unsealed these batteries are prone to create more incidents than other batteries. The lead – acids that are extremely harmful need to be handled carefully. The transportation has to be done with utmost care while following proper rules and regulations.

Moreover, nowadays the developers of such batteries use valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA). Due to VRLA now the acids remaining in it are sealed and safe to carry. However basic precautions are better to be taken while handling them. Due to the acids, these batteries contain and the danger level. The flooded batteries come under the hazardous class 8.

Lithium-ion batteries:-

These batteries are used to operate hybrid or electric vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries contain dry ice and fuel cell engines. Thus they are less hazardous and fall under the hazmat class 9.

Rules and regulations

There are some rules and regulations to keep in mind while transporting lead-acid batteries. These regulations include the packing of lead acid batteries in plastic and there must be only one battery in one packaging. Moreover, the terminals of the batteries should be marked using different covers. Correct labeling is again an important factor that needs to be kept in mind. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries have separate rules and regulations that need to be followed while transporting. These little factors are better to be reviewed at the earliest rather than regretting later and paying heavy fines.

Steps to remember while shipping:-

Few steps if followed while handling such materials can save many unfortunate incidents. As lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are marked hazardous by EPA and DOT thus the following steps that are mentioned below can prove very helpful. Moreover, if these materials are not carefully carried or transported the legal process that has to be undergone later will be complicated and tiresome. Furthermore, the penalties that have to be paid can be extremely high. The following steps can be followed while handling automotive Batteries:-

Step 1 – A safety data sheet must be labeled in all hazardous materials to inform the handlers. SDS are important to identify the category of the materials.

Step 2: USPS, USP, FedEx, and DHL are four types of carriers used for shipping. Each carriage follows a different rule while carrying hazardous materials. The next step is to choose a carrier for shipment.

Step 3:- The next step is to pay proper attention while packaging. The packaging guidelines are important to be taken care of. Some hazardous materials need to be packed in plastic and also have limitations on the number of batteries per package. Moreover, there are some materials that need to be carried separately from other hazardous materials.

Step 4: Labeling is another important factor to be followed while shipping. The size and weight of batteries need to be put properly.

Step 5:- Additional documentation can need to be done for some carriers. HAZMAT items of certain categories may require additional paperwork.


The most common hazardous automotive batteries are lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. They both belong to different hazardous classes. Lead acid batteries belong to class 8 and lithium ion batteries belong to class 9 of hazardous materials. Lead acid contains sulfuric acid while lithium batteries contain dry ice. Since both automatic batteries are dangerous to some extent there are few rules and regulations that have to be kept in mind while handling them. Unfortunate incidents may be caused by them. Moreover, if government regulations are avoided, heavy penalties and punishment may be imposed. It’s better to follow some precautions while carrying and shipment of such materials.


Are all automotive batteries classified as hazardous materials?

Yes, all automotive batteries are classified as hazardous materials due to the presence of corrosive substances.

How can I safely dispose of an old car battery?

To safely dispose of an old car battery, it is essential to follow proper disposal procedures. Many automotive stores and recycling centers accept old batteries for recycling. Contact your local recycling facility or automotive shop to find out the nearest drop-off location. Never dispose of old batteries in regular trash bins, as this can lead to environmental contamination.

Can automotive batteries be recycled?

Yes, automotive batteries can and should be recycled. Recycling helps recover valuable materials like lead and plastic while preventing harmful chemicals from entering the environment.

What are the dangers of mishandling automotive batteries?

Mishandling automotive batteries can lead to leaks or spills of corrosive substances, causing severe burns or injuries to individuals. It can also harm the environment by contaminating soil and water sources.

Are there alternatives to lead-acid batteries in vehicles?

Yes, researchers and manufacturers are continually exploring alternative battery technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries, for use in vehicles. These alternatives offer potential benefits like higher energy density and reduced environmental impact.