Stanford University

Shipping Hazardous Materials

You may be in violation of Federal Law and create a public safety hazard if you ship dry ice, hazardous materials, or any other “Dangerous Goods” unless you have received specific training and the material is properly packaged and labeled.

The training and certification must be repeated every two years.

“Dangerous Goods” include, but are not limited to, materials that are flammable, combustible, corrosive, reactive, oxidizing, toxic, radioactive, infectious, asphyxiating, elevated in temperature, or compressed, including aerosol cans. Dry ice is also regulated. If you are unsure whether your material is a “Dangerous Good” consult your MSDS, check with EH&S at 723-0448, and/or see the below tabs to determine if a material is designated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as a hazardous material for shipping.

  • Important: Stanford personnel are not allowed to directly ship any radioactive materials. If you need to have radioactive materials shipped, contact Health Physics at (650) 723-3201
  • The person(s) packing the material and/or signing the shipping papers must be trained and certified in the shipping of dangerous goods.

Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods

The Shipper’s Declaration is only required for:

  • Infectious substances (Category A)
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Any regulated hazardous material in amounts exceeding “Excepted Quantities”.

A Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods is not required for Biological substances or Dry Ice without any regulated materials.

As of January 2011, any substances requiring a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods that are shipped through FedEx require you to use the FedEx Ship Manager software to complete the form. The Buying and Paying Support Center (buyandpay@stanford.edu or 650 723-2772) can provide information and instructions on that process, and can have a FedEx representative contact you to help you with the installation.

If your current fedex.com account has more than one PTA, you will need to choose one as a default, to pay any FedEx invoices which do not have a PTA indicated.

Four copies are needed; three go with the carrier and you retain one for your records.

Regulations require that you keep your copy for 2 years.

Completing FedEx Labels

For instruction on how to complete FedEx labels online see the SOP Shipping Dangerous Materials by FedEx, Domestically, Completing Labels Online.

If you need training or assistance in preparing to ship any other “Dangerous Goods” from Stanford, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (650) 723-5069 to consult with a certified hazardous materials shipper on our staff. EH&S personnel are available and ready to help prepare any “hazardous material” for shipment.

Gasses
  1. Flammable (Gasses that burn in the air)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is catagorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION​

    Boiling Point < 68 degrees F. AND Ignitability Limit < 13% in Air.
    Flammable Range (LFL-UFL) < 12% difference

    Examples: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Most Aerosol Cans
    Notes: Oxygen is specifically defined as a Flammable Gas
    DOT Class: 2.1

    Non-Flammable, Non-Toxic (Gasses that can suffocate, but pose no other hazard)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION

    Pressure @ 68 degrees F. > 41 PSIA

    Examples: Carbon Dioxide (Gas), Freon
    Notes: Oxygen is specifically defined as a Flammable Gas
    DOT Class: 2.2

    Toxic/Poisonous (Gasses that can kill you)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is catagorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION  

    LC50 (rat-inhal) < 5000 ppm

    Examples: Hydrogen Sulfide, Insecticides, Chlorine
    DOT Class: 2.3


Liquids
  1. Flammable (Liquids that ignite easily and burn hot)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is catagorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION

    Flash Point < 141 deg. F

    Examples: Acetone (nail polish remover), Alcohols, Hexane Many other solvents
    DOT Class: 3

    Combustible (Liquids that burn but require a flame or elevated temperature plus a spark to start them)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is catagorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION

    Flash Point 141 – 200 deg. F

    Examples: Diesel Fuel, Oils
    DOT Class: 3


Solids
  1. Flammable (Solids that burn easily and are hard to extinguish)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Readily Combustible Materials

    In Plain English
    Solids that burn easily and are hard to extinguish.
    DOT Definition
    Burn Rate > 2.2 mm/sec
    Examples
    Carbon, matches
    Notes
    "Strike Anywhere" matches are forbidden on airplanes.
    DOT Class
    4.1

    Material: Metal Pellets

    In Plain English
    Finely divided metals that burn easily in air
    DOT Definition
    Metal shavings or pellets which can be ignited and react over a sample in less than 10 minutes
    Examples
    Magnesium, Aluminum
    Notes
    POWDERED metals are categorized as "Dangerous When Wet", DOT class 4.3
    DOT Class
    4.1

    Material: Self-Reactive Materials

    In Plain English
    Solids that get very hot or explode easily.
    DOT Definition
    • Capable of strong exothermic reaction at transportation temperatures, and undergoes various types of reactions (From rapid detonation through “gets warm”).
    • Heat of Decomposition > 300 J/g
    • Self-accelerating decomposition temperature is < 167 deg. F.
    Examples
    AZO/DIAZO compounds, Lithium Azide, 4-nitrosophenol
    Notes
    DOT Class
    4.1

    Material: Wetted Class/Explosives

    In Plain English
    Material that can detonate if not kept wet.
    DOT Definition
    Specifically listed
    Examples
    Picric acid
    Notes
    DOT Class
    4.1

    Spontaneously Combustible

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Pyrophoric

    In Plain English
    Materials that spontaneously ignite when exposed to air.
    DOT Definition
    Self-ignition in air in < 5 minutes
    Examples
    Organometallic Compounds, Zirconium Powder, Alkyl Hydride
    DOT Class
    4.2

    Material: Self Heating in Air

    In Plain English
    Materials that get hot when exposed to air and can ignite.
    DOT Definition
    Ignites within 24 hours without a heat source
    Examples
    Activated Carbon, Celluloid Scrap
    DOT Class
    4.2

    Dangerous When Wet (Materials that become very dangerous when they get wet)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes.If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION

    Emits flammable gasses when wetted > 1 liter/kg/hr.

    Examples: Sodium, silanes
    DOT Class: 4.3


Liquids or Solids
  1. Oxidizer (Material that makes other things burn easily)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Liquid or solid

    DOT Definition
    Materials that can enhance combustion
    Examples
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    DOT Class
    5.1

    Material: Solid: Burn Rate

    DOT Definition
    Burn rate equals the rate of ammonium persulfate.
    Examples
    Ammonium persulfate, Potassium Permanganate
    DOT Class
    5.1

    Material: Liquid OR Solid Burn Rate

    DOT Definition
    Burn rate equals the rate of Potassium Bromate
    Examples
    Potassium Bromate, Ammonium Perchlorate
    DOT Class
    5.1

    Organic Peroxide (Very reactive materials that must be kept cold or they can explode)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    DOT DEFINITION

    Ability to detonate, deflagrate or explode if not kept cold

    Examples: Benzyl peroxide, Peracetic Acid
    DOT Class: 5.2

    Poison (Toxic)

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Oral LD50, Liquids

    In Plain English
    Material that can kill you or make you very sick if swallowed
    DOT Definition
    < 500 mg/kg
    Examples
    Cyanides
    DOT Class
    6.1

    Material: Oral LD50, Solids

    In Plain English
    Material that can kill you or make you very sick if swallowed
    DOT Definition
    < 200 mg/kg
    Examples
    Arsenic and Compounds
    DOT Class
    6.1

    Material: Dermal

    In Plain English
    Material that can kill you or make you very sick if it gets on your skin.
    DOT Definition
    < 10,000 mg/kg
    Examples
    Aniline
    DOT Class
    6.1

    Material: Inhalation LC50, Dusts and Mists

    In Plain English
    Material that can kill you or make you very sick if it gets on your skin.
    DOT Definition
    < 10 mg/L
    Examples
    Methyl Isocyanate
    DOT Class
    6.1

    Infectious Materials

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Infectious to Animals or Humans

    In Plain English
    Material that can cause an infection to humans or animals.
    DOT Definition
    Known or suspected to contain a pathogen
    Examples
    Viruses, Bacteria
    DOT Class
    6.2

    Material: Biological Substance, Category B

    In Plain English
    Material that is not infectious, but is biological in origin.
    DOT Definition
    Used in prevention, diagnosis or treatment
    Examples
    Blood, vaccine, anti-toxin
    DOT Class
    6.2

    Corrosive

    Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Danger To: Skin

    In Plain English
    Material that burns your skin.
    DOT Definition
    Causes visible destruction or irreversible alteration in human skin on contact site. Visible skin necrosis in < 4 hours
    Examples
    All Acids and Bases
    DOT Class
    8

    Danger To: Steel/Metal

    In Plain English
    Material that eats up metal.
    DOT Definition
    Has a severe corrosion rate on steel or metal. Steel/aluminum corrosion rate > 0.25 inches/year at 131 deg. F
    Examples
    Amines
    DOT Class
    8

Gasses, Liquids or Solids
  1. Includes other materials that pose a transportation hazard, but are not included in the other categories. Compare your material with the DOT Definition and examples, and read any notes. If your material matches these criteria, it is categorized by DOT as a hazardous material.

    Material: Noxious or Anesthetic Materials

    In Plain English
    Material that are very smelly or numbing.
    DOT Definition
    Noxious or Anesthetic Materials
    Examples
    Dilute Formaldehyde Solutions (non-flammable)
    Notes
    If shipped by air, the Proper Shipping Name is "Aviation Regulated Liquid"
    DOT Class
    9

    Material: Specifically Listed

    In Plain English
    Items listed by DOT in the table.
    DOT Definition
    Items listed by DOT in Table 172.101
    Examples
    Notes
    DOT Class
    9

    Material: Genetically Modified Organisms

    In Plain English
    Organisms that have been genetically altered and which can do harm.
    DOT Definition
    Genetically modified organisms (GMO) or microorganisms (GMMO) are organisms that have been genetically altered through genetic engineering in a way that does not occur naturally. GMOs and GMMOs that are not infectious but that can alter animals, plants or microorganisms in a way that is not normally the result of natural reproduction are considered a miscellaneous hazard. Note: if the GMO/GMMO is infectious, it must be shipped under Category 6.2.
    Examples
    E. coli with a plasmid inserted, transformed tissue culture cells
    Notes
    DOT Class
    9

    Material: Magnetized

    In Plain English
    Items with enough magnetism to stick to or attract steel
    DOT Definition
    Has a magnetic field strength at any point 7 feet (2.1m) from the surface exceeding 0.002 gauss.
    Examples
    Large permanent magnet
    Notes
    If you have several small magnets in one box, this may be regulated.
    DOT Class
    9

    Material: Environmentally Hazardous Substances

    In Plain English
    Liquids or solids that are known pollutants or contain pollutants.
    DOT Definition
    Liquid or solid substances that will pollute the aquatic environment.
    Examples
    Soluble Copper salts
    Notes
    Consider whether it could harm fish.
    DOT Class
    9


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