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Interpretation Response #04-0270 ([Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] [Vincent R. Hill, Ph.D., P.E.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Individual Name: Vincent R. Hill, Ph.D., P.E.

Location State: GA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Dec 28, 2004


Vincent R. Hill, Ph.D., P.E.                Ref. No. 04-0270

Parasitic Diseases Branch

Division of Parasitic Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

4770 Buford Highway, MS/F-36

Atlanta, GA 30341-3724

Dear Dr. Hill:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to water samples that will be transported for testing. You state that the samples are potentially contaminated with biological agents and ask whether such samples should be transported as Division 6.2 materials.

Section 172.101(c)(11) permits the shipment of a sample material to a laboratory for testing by the assignment of a tentative proper shipping name based on the shipper's knowledge of the material. If you determine that the water sample is likely to contain an infectious substance, then the material is subject to the HMR. In this case, you must tentatively assign the most appropriate proper shipping name and packing group from the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) based on the hazard class and packing group criteria in Part 173 and your best knowledge of the material (see § 173.22 for shipper's responsibility). For a water sample suspected of containing an infectious substance, the material must be described as "Infectious substance, affecting humans," classed as a Division 6.2 material, and assigned to TIN 2814. In addition, the sample must be transported in accordance with all HMR requirements applicable to the transportation of Division 6.2 materials. Note that under § 172.l01(c)(1l), the word "sample" must appear as part of the proper shipping name or in association with the basic description on the shipping paper, and the sample may not exceed a net mass 5.5 pounds per package.

If there is no reason to know or strongly suspect that the samples contain an infectious substance, the material is not considered a Division 6.2 material under the HMR. Provided the samples are also not strongly suspected of meeting the definition of any other hazard class, the material is not subject to the HMR.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact this office if you have additional questions.


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.101(c)(11), 173.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.22 Shipper's responsibility