Shipping of Dangerous Goods-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shipping of Dangerous Goods

Jeffrey Harris

Whether by air, land or sea there are regulations for shipping "Dangerous Goods" and they are actively enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

So what is included as a Dangerous Good?  Any solid, liquid or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, the environment or property and includes such things as:

  • Chemicals
  • Biological materials
  • Radioactive materials
  • Misc. items such as batteries and even many commercial products

These are broad categories but things such as chemical products, samples and dry ice are the most likely examples.  It's important to follow these rules because violations are subject to criminal and civil penalties.  Additionally, it is our responsibility to protect people, property and the environment from the things we send. 

How do you know if you are shipping a dangerous good?  Become trained in the rules and regulations, or better yet use the folks in EH&S who are already trained.  To have a review of your shipment simply go on-line and request our free services (

Please note: many things cannot be shipped by air and often the packaging and paperwork takes time to plan your shipments accordingly.  MOST IMPORTANT - NEVER DISREGARD SHIPPING RULES!  If you don't know the rules, you should contact us for help.