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Waste Designation Decision Matrix - Corrosivity Determination

This is the waste designation decision matrix provided by the Small Business and Local Government Assistance Program to aid businesses in deciding how certain wastes must be handled.

This matrix is provided as an assistance tool. It cannot be used as a substitute for following applicable city, state, and federal laws.

Is your waste corrosive?YES NO

Corrosive Wastes

Corrosivity is the ability to dissolve or otherwise erode materials, including natural materials and flesh. Corrosivity is a threat in a very direct sense, as contact with the body can result in serious injury, and in an indirect sense, as it threatens the integrity of any material it contacts. The EPA assigns the waste number D002 to a material demonstrating the characteristic of corrosivity.

The criteria for this characteristic is that the material is a liquid waste that:

  • is aqueous (contains water) and has a pH* of less than or equal to 2.0 or greater than (or equal to) 12.5; or
  • is a liquid and corrodes steel (specifically SAE 1020) at greater than 1/4" per year at 55 degrees Celsius (130 degrees F)

This definition includes strong acids and caustics, as well as other materials that could attack material integrity. A caustic with a pH greater than 12.5 will dissolve flesh on contact.

* A product's pH is often provided on its Material Safety Data Sheet.