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Interpretation Response #04-0175 ([Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP] [Mr. Robert N. Steinwurtzel])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP

Individual Name: Mr. Robert N. Steinwurtzel

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Nov 16, 2004


Mr. Robert N. Steinwurtzel                 Reference No. 04-0175
Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP
3000 K Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20007-5116

Dear Mr. Steinwurtzel:

This responds to your letter concerning the classification and applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 17 1-180) to materials similar to battery litharge and red lead which are used in processing battery plates.

You state that battery litharge consists of approximately 73-81% lead monoxide, 19-27% free lead, and trace amounts of various elements. The material is in powder form with a median particle size of 2.2 micrometers, and based on a screen analysis, 99% of the particles are smaller than 45 micrometers. The chemical composition of 25% red lead is approximately 21-29% lead tetraoxide, 69-76% monoxide, a maximum of 2.5% free lead, and trace amounts of other elements. The material is in powder form, median particle size is 3.0 micrometers, and based on screen analysis 99.5% of particles are smaller than 45 micrometers. Your letter also indicates that the amount of lead in one package meets or exceeds the Reportable quantity for “Lead” in Appendix A of 172.102.

Your letter includes a number of statements concerning the applicability of the HMR to shipments of lead and environmentally hazardous substances. Your understanding of the HMR, as outlined in your letter, is correct. With regard to item #1, the reference to “40 C.F.R. § 172.101, App. A,.. .“ on page 2, should read “49 C.F.R., App. A, . .

Your specific questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Are products with a chemical composition similar to battery litharge and 25% red lead subject to the HMR?

Al. Under § 173.22, it is a shipper’s responsibility to properly class, package, mark, and label a hazardous material for transportation in commerce. This Office generally does not perform this function. If the materials in question (1) are similar in chemical composition to the battery litharge and 25% Red lead, (2) do not meet the definition of any other hazard class definition in Part 173, including hazardous waste or marine pollutant, and (3) meet or exceed the reportable quantity for “Lead” in Appendix A of the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) in one package, they are subject to the HMR.

Q2. How should these hazardous substances be described on the shipping paper?

A2. “Lead” is not listed as a proper shipping name in the HMT; therefore, a shipping name that best describes the material must be selected from the generic or n.o.s. descriptions corresponding to the specific hazard class, packing group, hazard zone and subsidiary hazard, if any, for the material. Generic shipping name entries that have the symbol “G” in column 1 of the HMT require the technical name of the hazardous material in parentheses in association with the basic description. Hazardous substances meeting only the Class 9 definition may be described as “RQ, Environmentally hazardous substances, solid, n.o.s., 9, UN 3077, PG III (lead).”

Q3. What marking and placarding requirements apply when these materials are transported in a bulk packaging?

A3. As required by § 172.302, a bulk packaging containing a hazardous material must be marked with the identification number of the hazardous material; a packaging with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more must be marked on each side and each end; a packaging with a capacity of less than 1,000 gallons must be marked on two opposing sides. The identification number must be displayed on orange panels, on placards, or on a white square-on-point display configuration. For domestic transportation, a Class 9 placard is not required (see § 172.504(f)(9)).

Q4. Are carriers transporting hazardous materials in a bulk packaging subject to the registration requirements in 49 CFR 107.601?

A4. The answer is yes. A carrier who transports a hazardous material in a bulk packaging with a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons or 468 cubic feet is subject to the registration requirements.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry.



Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility