Hazardous Material Shipping Regulations

It is unfortunate, although not without merit, that 95% of the inorganic standards we produce have been deemed hazardous by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). This leaves the chemical industry paying significant shipping charges in respect to an inexpensive (but highly technical) consumable product. An understanding of how these charges and regulations work will enable you to do a little planning, saving you money and frustration.

What makes it Hazardous?

The most common hazardous products we carry contain nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid.  Hazardous materials are shipped in accordance with IATA (International Air Transport Association) and 49CFR regulations.  Typically, all anion chromatography standards are non-hazardous.  A few of our cation standards are also non-hazardous.  Most of the Water QC standards that we manufacture are considered non-hazardous as well.  Our online catalog includes a hazardous notice with every product we sell. The notice will clearly state whether the product contains hazardous materials.

Labs often use hazardous materials as a basic part of research and manufacturing.  Such materials may include laboratory chemicals, radioactive materials, compressed gases, and contaminated equipment.  At times, technicians may need to ship these materials to a research facility, a colleague, another company, or even back to the manufacturer.  It is important to understand how these shipments are regulated.  A failure to understand these regulations can compromise safety and result in significant fines.  The DOT or international agencies such as IATA regulate how a commercial carrier transports hazardous materials.  The shipper must properly classify, package, document, and handle the hazardous materials to comply with shipping regulations.  

How could this affect me?

Failure to comply with DOT and IATA regulations could result in the loss of your right to ship.  Hefty fines and imprisonment may also be imposed on individuals who ignore the DOT and IATA regulations.  Only trained persons and certified organizations may offer or receive shipments of hazardous materials.  These guidelines are mandated by federal and international hazardous material shipping regulations.  Direct your attention to CFR Title 49 - Transportation, Parts 106-180 and you may be shocked to discover the seriousness of making or receiving these illegal shipments.  When you do not understand and follow the complexities of these regulations, your company, as well as the community at large, can suffer considerably.


We're happy to offer our customers technical support and expertise to aid in the understanding of DOT and IATA regulations. Simply contact us.