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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #02-0318 ([Honeywell] [Barbara Konrad])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Honeywell

Individual Name: Barbara Konrad

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

JUL 10, 2003

Ms. Barbara Konrad                                         Ref. No. 02-0318
Manager, Transportation Safety
Honeywell
P.O. Box 1057
Morristown, NJ 07962-1052

Dear Ms. Konrad:

This is in response to your letter, e-mail, and telephone conversation with Sandra Webb of my staff regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to hermetically sealed sensing elements. Specifically, you request confirmation that the sensing elements once incorporated into their final product, may be transported without being subject to the HMR.. I apologize for the delay in responding and hope it has not caused any inconvenience.

According to your letter, each sensing elements is a copper metal capsule that contains approximately 11 - 20 ml of certain flammable liquids and other gases listed below:

  • Toluene, 3, UN 1294, PG IT
  • Ethyl ether, 3, UN 1155, PG I
  • Flammable liquid, n.o.s. (Isopropyl alcohol), 3, UN 1993, PG III
  • Isobutane, 2.1, UN 1969
  • Ethyl chloride, 2.1. UN 1037

You further state that most of the sensing elements in the group contain toluene. However, all of the materials listed above function as a temperature sensing fluid inside the element.

You question the following scenario:

The sensor elements are constructed (point A), "aged" and shipped to your assembly plant in accordance with the small quantity exception in § 173.4. At the assembly plant (point B), the sensor elements are incorporated into the final product. Each final product is placed in an intermediate packaging with cushioning and then placed into a strong, corrugated outer packaging and shipped to your distribution facility (point C). At the distribution-facility, the outer packaging is broken down and the final products are placed with other non-hazardous materials and once again placed in a strong, corrugated outer packaging and shipped to customers (point D). In your opinion, because of the small quantities of hazardous materials, the sensor design, construction, and protective packaging, the sensors in the final products shipped from point B to point C and point C to point D do not pose a significant hazard to health during transportation and, as a result, the sensors should not be subject to the HMR.

Based on the information you submitted and the information available to us, the final products containing the sensing elements are subject to the HMR for the following reasons:

  1. Small quantities of Class 3, Division 4.1, Division 4.2 (PG II and III), Division 4.3 (PG II and III), Division 5.1, Division 5.2, Division 6.1, Class 7, Class 8, and Class 9 materials that also meet the definition of one or more of these hazard classes, are eligible for the small quantity exceptions in § 173.4. However, as noted, the Isobutane, 2.1, UN 1969 and Ethyl chloride, 2.1, UN 1037 sensors are Division 2.1 flammable gases and are not eligible to be transported under the small quantity exceptions in § 1 73.4. These sensors must be transported as follows:
    1. With regard to the Isobutane sensor, it must be packaged in accordance with § § 173 .306 or 173.3 04 as designated in column 8A or 8B of the Hazardous Materials Table. However, you may take advantage of the limited quantities exception for compressed gases in § 173.306 provided all of the provisions are met. In addition, Isobutane packaged as a limited quantity, in accordance with § 173.306, that meets the definition of a consumer commodity may be reclassed as an ORM~D material and transported as a consumer commodity.
    2. With regard to the Ethyl Chloride sensor, there are no packaging exceptions authorized in Column 8A of the HMT. Therefore, it must be packaged in accordance with § 173.322 as designated in Column 8B of the HMT.
  2. With regard to the Toluene, Ethyl ether and Flammable liquid, n.o.s. (Isopropyl alcohol) sensors, it is our opinion that they may be transported under the small quantity exceptions provided the quantity of the Class 3 material in the inner packaging does not exceed thirty (30) ml and all other provisions of § 173.4 are met. However, you may choose to take advantage of the limited quantities exceptions for flammable liquids in § 173.150 provided all of those provisions are met. In addition, if a flammable liquid is packaged as a limited quantity, in accordance with § 173.150, and meets the definition of a consumer commodity, it may be rec1assed as an ORM-D material and transported as a consumer commodity.

I trust this satisfies your request. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Susan Gorsky
Senior Regulation Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table