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Interpretation Response #04-0216 ([ARUP Laboratories] [Mr. Paul Brinton])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: ARUP Laboratories

Individual Name: Mr. Paul Brinton

Location State: UT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Nov 18, 2004


Mr. Paul Brinton                 Reference No. 04-0216

Vice President, Transportation & Logistics

ARUP Laboratories

500 Chipeta Way

Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

Dear Mr. Brinton:

This is in further response to your August 27, 2004 e-mail concerning how to properly describe and label an unknown fungus suspected of being an infectious substance under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). We responded to your e-mail in a letter dated September 20, 2004.

In your August 27 e-mail, you stated that you are shipping an unknown fungus suspected of being an infectious substance to a laboratory for testing. You asked if the term "fungus" may be used to meet the requirements for a technical name in accordance with §§ 171.8, 172.101(b)(4), and 172.203(k) of the HMR. In our September 20, 2004 response, we suggested that you use the term "mycotic species" as the technical name to complete the generic shipping description for the suspected infectious substance. In a September 23, 2004 e-mail responding to our letter, you note that the scientific community uses the terms "fungus" and "mycotic species" interchangeably and defines "mycotic" to mean "...infection with or disease caused by a fungus."

Based on the information you provided, we agree that either "fungus" or "mycotic species" may be used to comply with the technical name requirements in § l72.l0l(b)(4) for transportation of an unknown fungus described and classed as an "Infectious substance, affecting humans, 6.2, UN 2814."

We note concerning the shipping description of unknown samples of hazardous materials being transported for testing that, in accordance with § 172.l01(c)(11), you may assign your sample a tentative proper shipping name, hazard class, identification number, and packing group, if applicable, and offer it for transportation for testing to determine its hazard class. You must assign a proper shipping name based on your knowledge of the material and the hazard precedence prescribed in § 173.2a. In addition, if the word "sample" is not already included in the proper shipping name, you must add it to the proper shipping name or place it in close proximity to the basic shipping description. Thus, for the fungus you are shipping, the shipping description would be "Sample infectious substance, affecting humans, 6.2, UN 2814." For samples transported in accordance with this section, the provisions requiring a technical name for the constituent(s) of the material do not apply (see § 172.101(c)(iv)(B)).

You also ask if the wording "Suspected Category A Infectious Substance" and the packaging and hazard communication prescribed in the 2005-2006 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Transport of Dangerous Good by Air (Technical Instructions) may be used now to transport the fungus you described or if you must wait until January 1, 2005, to use these requirements. The ICAO does not authorize the use of these requirements until January 1, 2005. (See the foreword of the ICAO Technical Instructions in the section describing their operational use.) Under § 171.11, the HMR permit the use of the 2003- 2004 edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions, as incorporated by reference in § 171.7, as an alternative to the requirements prescribed in the HMR for air shipments, with certain exceptions. In a notice of proposed rulemaking we issued in the Federal Register on June 22, 2004 (Docket No. RSPA-04-17036 (HM-215G), 69 FR 34724), we proposed to revise this incorporation by reference to permit the use of the 2005-2006 edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions. We expect to publish the rule in time to authorize use of the 2005-2006 edition ICAO Technical Instructions under the HMR by January 1, 2005.

I hope this information is helpful.


Edward T. Mazzullo

Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.8, 172.203(k)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.203 Additional description requirements