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Hazmat FAQs

What is a Consumer Commodity?

“Consumer Commodities” are hazardous materials that are packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for sale through retail sales agencies (i.e. a Hardware Store) for consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or household use.

However, if you decide to ship something you bought at the hardware store, it no longer qualifies as a Consumer Commodity and now qualifies as a fully regulated hazmat.

Are refrigerators, freezers or ac units considered hazardous for transportation?

Depending on the material contained in the apparatus these commodities may be considered as a hazardous material when offered for transportation. The hazard presented is the gas that is in the apparatus.

Are Lithium Batteries considered hazmat?

The term “lithium battery” refers to a family of batteries with different chemistries, comprising many types of cathodes and electrolytes. Lithium metal batteries. Are generally primary (non-rechargeable) batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode. Lithium metal batteries are generally used to power watches, calculators, cameras, etc. Of late there have been numerous incidents involving Lithium Batteries and therefore have become highly regulated as a hazardous material.

Are batteries that are used for flashlights, radios, etc., considered hazardous for transportation?

No. Dry Batteries such as “C” and “D” size (NON-Lithium) that are used for the operation of items such a flash lights are not considered hazardous for transportation provided they are packaged in a manner that prevents short circuiting. It doesn’t matter how many are being shipped.

If a material turns out to be “non-hazardous,” how do I transport it?

If a material does not meet the definition of a “hazardous material” as per Department of Transportation in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 49, there are no restrictions as to the way that you transport it. However, just because a material is not considered hazardous by the D.O.T. doesn't mean that it can't be harmful to people or the environment. Common sense must be used to assure that the material is properly packaged and handled to prevent injuries/spills. For example: Motor oil is not considered hazardous under the D.O.T., however if motor oil was spilled on UCAR/NCAR/UCP property we are obligated to report it and clean it up as per state and local regulations.

Can I use my personal vehicle to transport a hazardous material?

Yes, but only for what qualifies as a Material Of Trade. Logistics Operations staff/vehicles are highly recommended for all transfers between UCAR/NCAR/UCP facilities.

I want to use my bike (or walk) to bring a bottle of acetone to another building, is that OK?

Technically transporting a hazardous material in anything other than a motorized vehicle is not covered by the D.O.T. However, you must use some common sense to assure that you do not put yourself or others at risk. For example a glass bottle falling out of a bike basket would likely break if it fell out, while a small can of dry material probably wouldn't.

A researcher from overseas is bringing a small (3 micro curies) of a radioactive sample to Boulder, can he carry it in his pocket on the plane?

No. Air transport of hazardous materials is subject to the rules of the International Air Transport Association and the International Atomic Energy Association and must be packaged, labeled, marked, and manifested accordingly. Hand carrying hazardous materials on board a commercial airliner is not allowed.

Last updated on November 14, 2013 - 9:54am.
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