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Interpretation Response #03-0117

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 05-22-2003
Company Name: McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C.    Individual Name: Lawrence W. Bierlein, Esq.
Location state: DC    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 22, 2003


Lawrence W. Bierlein, Esq.               Reference No. 03-0117
McCarthy, Sweeney & Harkaway, P.C.
Suite 600
2175 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dear Mr. Bierlein:

This responds to your letter dated May 2, 2003, requesting a clarification of 49 CFR 177.841(e)(3) which prohibits the transportation of hazardous materials packages bearing a POISON label with materials that are marked as containing or known to contain foodstuffs, feed or edible materials for consumption by humans or animals.

You state that Fisher Scientific Company, a laboratory chemical supplier, ships hazardous materials packages bearing POISON labels with other chemicals, such as dextrose, yeast extract, sodium chloride, sucrose, and deionized water.  While, under certain circumstances, these other chemicals may be used in food products or may be food products themselves, in the scenario you described, Fisher plainly marks and identifies these materials as “for laboratory/manufacturing use only an not for drug, food, or household use.” You further explain that California authorities have taken the position that, regardless of package markings, knowledge, or intention of the shipper or carrier, a product that may be found at a waste facility or unauthorized secondary market might be misused and consumed by people or animals.

You ask whether Fisher’s shipping practices violate 49 CFR 177.841 (e)(3).  The answer is no.  There is no violation of § 177.841 (e)(3) when a package bearing a POISON label is co-loaded with the materials as described in the above scenario.  Fisher clearly does not intend that these materials be used as food or foodstuffs for consumption by humans or animals.

I hope this information satisfies your inquiry.  Please contact us if you require additional assistance.



Delmer  F.  Billing
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 177.841 Division 6.1 and Division 2.3 materials