Transportation and Shipping of Hazardous Materials-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Transportation and Shipping of Hazardous Materials

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict regulations on the shipping and transportation of hazardous materials, including the chemicals and samples our laboratories send (and receive).  First, you need to determine whether what you have, and the amount you want to ship, is regulated.  DOT addresses most all chemicals, biological and radiological materials in some fashion, as well as dry ice (a common shipping hazard for us) so chances are you will have some requirements to address with your shipments.  Some materials have different requirements depending on the quantities (for example, for some materials, quantities less than 30 mL have some exemptions from the regs.)  There are also extensive regulations for items shipped to international destinations.  The various classes of hazardous materials have some very specific requirements as to the size and construction of both the interior and outside containers.  And if that is not enough, the requirements for the paperwork are also very specific.

By now you realize that the process to ship properly is fairly complicated, with lots of places for problems to occur.  As a result, we ask all university personnel needing to ship hazardous materials to go to our web page ( and request EH&S assistance for thier shipment. (The request link is located in the beige colored box on the right hand side of the page!). Fines for non-compliance are severe!