USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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

Interpretation Response #06-0111 ([AmeriPath] [Ms. Julie Frail])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: AmeriPath

Individual Name: Ms. Julie Frail

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 8, 2006


Ms. Julie Frail                   Reference No. 06-0111
895 SW 30th Avenue, Suite 101
Pompano Beach, FL 33069-4887

Dear Ms. Frail:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (WVIR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) regarding the classification of rags containing xylene and alcohol. Specifically, you ask whether the rags are regulated under the HMR and, if so, what proper shipping name is most appropriate.

As specified in § 173.22, it is the shipper’s responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material and select the shipping name that most accurately reflects the material being shipped. The proper shipping name may be assigned by either:

(1) Assigning the proper shipping description “Solids containing flammable liquid, n.o.s. (xylenes, ethyl alcohol),” UN3175, PG II without first applying the classification criteria of Division 4.1 (see Special Provision 47). Provided there is no free liquid around the rags or on the bottom of the drum, there is no need to further classify these materials.

(2) Determining whether the rags meet a Class 4.1 material. The burn rate may be determined on the rags before any evaporation of these liquids by simply using flames. (The UN test method for Class 4.1 materials is designed for granular materials and, therefore, is not applicable to rags wetted with flammable liquids.)

If the package contains any residual free liquids on the bottom of the container or surrounding the rags, the proper shipping name is “Flammable liquids, n.o.s. (xylenes, ethyl alcohol),” UN 1993. If the rags do not meet the definitions for Division 4.1 or Class 3, but do meet the definition for a hazardous waste (see definition in § 171.8), the most appropriate proper shipping names are Hazardous waste, solid, n.o.s. (xylene, alcohol),” NA3082 or “Waste Environmentally hazardous substances, solid, n.o.s. (xylene, alcohol),” UN3077.

If the rags do not meet the definition of any of the hazard classes nor the definition for a hazardous waste, they are not regulated under the HMR.

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


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

172.101, 173.22

Regulation Sections

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