Transporting Dangerous Goods

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) enforces the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR 171-180), which applies to preparing or offering hazardous materials for shipment within the U.S. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulates hazardous materials being shipped by air. IATA and the international community use the term "dangerous goods" rather than "hazardous materials." For the sake of simplicity, this site will use only the term "dangerous goods."

"Dangerous Goods" is a broad term that includes materials which pose radioactive, chemical, biological, or physical hazards. Most hazardous chemicals, compressed gases, infectious agents, dry ice, lithium batteries, and many other items are considered to be "dangerous goods."

At Appalachian, researchers and others may occasionally have the need to ship dangerous goods. All shippers of dangerous goods must be trained and certified in accordance with DOT (for ground shipments within the U.S.) or IATA (for all air shipments).

DOT is vigilantly reviewing companies, carriers, and academic organizations for compliance with shipping requirements. Fiscal and civil penalties can be incurred for non-compliance, as well as delay of shipments that may be critical to research projects.

Please note that all costs associated with shipping dangerous goods, including any fines incurred, are the responsibility of the department or research project shipping the material.

Shipping Within North Carolina

Small quantities of dangerous goods may be transported within the State of North Carolina by App State employees under the following circumstances:

  • Transport is done by a State employee.
  • Transport will occur only on N.C. State roads.
  • Transport will use a State vehicle.
  • Only State employees will be in the vehicle.
  • All persons in the vehicle have current hazard communication or laboratory standard training regarding the material being transported.
  • The container is clearly labeled with appropriate hazard notifications as required by OSHA.
  • A vehicle accident or a release of the material being transported would not present an immediate danger to life, health, or the environment.

Shipments that do not meet all of the above criteria must be shipped as described for Out-of-State shipments.

Additionally, when transporting dangerous goods themselves, employees must ensure that:

  • The material is transported with a secondary container capable of preventing and/or containing a spill.
  • Spill response materials sufficient to clean up the material is carried inside the vehicle.
  • Any personal protective equipment necessary to clean up the spill safely is carried in the vehicle (preferably in an area away from the dangerous good itself).
  • A responsible person (e.g. supervisor) is made aware of the route of travel and the estimated arrival time, and is notified upon departure and arrival.

All costs associated with shipping dangerous goods are the responsibility of the department or research project shipping the material.

App State personnel are highly discouraged from personally transporting materials that represent a significant hazard to themselves or the environment, regardless of the State exemption described above. When a significant hazard exists, employees should follow the Out-of-State shipping instructions below.

Shipping Outside North Carolina

To ship dangerous goods to U.S. locations outside North Carolina, App State personnel have two options:

  1. Hire a DOT/IATA-certified shipper to package and ship the material; or
  2. Obtain certification to package and ship the material themselves. IATA certification is required for all air transport or transport outside the United States. DOT or IATA is required for all ground transport within the United States. All costs associated with obtaining DOT or IATA certification will be borne by the employee's department or research project. Employees who obtain DOT or IATA certification should be sure to keep proof of their certification, as well as sending a copy to the Safety & WC Office.

All costs associated with shipping dangerous goods are the responsibility of the department or research project shipping the material.

Shipments to locations outside the United States may be subject to export control requirements as well. Such shipments should be planned well in advance with the shipper and the App State Office of Research.

Resources

The following resources are provided as convenience to App State employees, and should not be construed as an endorsement of or requirement to use these service providers.

Non-Infectious Clinical Specimens

Non-infectious clinical specimens (e.g. blood or excreta from normal healthy humans and animals) are not regulated as dangerous goods and thus do not require DOT or IATA training and certification. However, clinical specimens do have very specific packing requirements. Learn more on packing and shipping clinical specimens from the NCDHHS.

How To

App State personnel without DOT or IATA training are permitted to prepare and ship non-infectious clinical specimens via FedEx Express, as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Packages must be prepared in accordance with FedEx Express' Clinical Samples Packaging Guide; and
  2. If cooling is required, only nonhazardous, self-contained cooling packs (e.g. blue ice packs) are used. Shipping with dry ice requires DOT/IATA training.

Contact the OSH Office at 262-4008, ext 2#, to request free FedEx Express "Clinical Paks," shipping airbills, and self-sticking airbill pouches. Allow 2-3 days for these items to reach you via campus mail.

If dry ice is needed, some minimal DOT/IATA training is required. Multiple sources are available, but FedEx suggests DGI Training's course on Dry Ice. Be sure to send documentation of course completion to the OSH Office. Contact the OSH Office at 262-4008, ext 2#, to request free FedEx Express Dry Ice labels, shipping airbills, and self-sticking airbill pouches.

All costs associated with shipping clinical specimens are the responsibility of the department or research project shipping the material.

Shipments to locations outside the United States may be subject to export control requirements as well. Such shipments should be planned well in advance with the shipper and the App State Office of Research Protections.

Definitions

For the purposes of this website, clinical samples or clinical specimens are non-infectious human or animal materials including, but not limited to, excreta, secreta, tissue and tissue fluids, blood and FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that are blood products.

Clinical samples from humans or animals who are known or reasonably believed to be infected must be managed as dangerous goods.

Resources

For More Information