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Interpretation Response #06-0121 ([Hydrol Chemical Co., Inc.] [Mr. Richard W. Hoffman, Jr. ])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Hydrol Chemical Co., Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Richard W. Hoffman, Jr. 

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Oct 3, 2006


Mr. Richard W. Hoffman, Jr.                 Reference No. 06-0121

Director of Chemical Operations

Hydrol Chemical Co., Inc.

520 Commerce Drive

Yeadon, Pennsylvania 19050

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

This responds to your letter dated May 4, 2006 regarding classification of your company"s embalming products containing various concentrations of Formaldehyde, and whether they may be reclassed and described as a Consumer commodity, ORM-D in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). The products are used for the preparation and disinfection of human remains.

According to you letter, Hydrol Chemical Company, Inc., packages a range of embalming fluid products that contain Formaldehyde in various concentrations, mixed with Methanol and Glycerine components. The Formaldehyde (F) and Methanol (M) ranges, with associated flash points, are as follows:

Grouping # 1 " (F) 4% to 11%, (M) 4% to 19%, flash point 140°F to 145°F TCC

Grouping # 2" (F) 11% to 50%, (M) 5% to 40%, flash point 80°F to 130°F TCC

Grouping # 3 " (F) 21% to 36%, (M) 15% to 19%, flash point 126°F to 136°F    


These embalming fluid products are packaged in 473 ml (16 fluid ounces) polyethylene bottles, with polypropylene caps (polyester lined). The bottles are packed 24 to a case, and vary in weight from 28 pounds (12.7 kg) to 36 pounds (16.3kg). The package is a combination packaging marked " UN 4G/Y16.3/S/02/USA #AG 0619. These products are classed and described as "Flammable liquid, n.o.s, Class 3, (Formaldehyde, Methanol), UN 1993, PG III" and shipped as a limited quantity under § 173.150 of the HMR.

Based on the information provided, your company"s products that have a flash point of 141°F or below meet the definition for a Class 3 (flammable liquid) material. 1-lowever, as specified in § 173.120(b)(2), a flammable liquid with a flash point at or above 38°C (100°F) that does not meet the definition of any other hazard class may be reclassed as a

combustible liquid. A combustible liquid in a non-bulk packaging that is not a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant is not subject to the HMR for purposes of transportation in commerce (see § 173.120(a) and (b) and 173.150(f)).

Formalin (10% Formaldehyde solutions) does not meet the criteria for either of the entries for "Formaldehyde" in the § 172.101 Table. However, the acute effects of Formaldehyde solutions have been well documented. Based on the definition for a Class 9 material in the HMR, it is the opinion of this Office that "10% Formaldehyde solution" meets the definition of a Class 9 material in § 173.140 and is subject to regulation when transported by aircraft. The appropriate shipping description is: "Aviation regulated liquid, n.o.s. (Formaldehyde), 9, UN 3334, III." In § 172.102, Special Provision "A35" applies to shipments by aircraft.

Generally, a consumer commodity, as defined in § 171.8, is a material that is packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for retail sale to consumers even if not specifically so intended and that, may, in fact, be used in some other fashion. A Class 3 (flammable liquid) material packaged for shipment in accordance with the limited quantity provisions in § 173.150 that meet the definition of a consumer commodity may be renamed "Consumer commodity" and reclassed as ORM-D material. Packages containing an ORM-D material must be marked in accordance with § 172.316. Based on the information provided in your letter, it is the opinion of this Office that your products may be transported as consumer commodities.

I hope this satisfies your inquiry. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.



John A. Gale

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.150, 173.120 (b)(2)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.120 Class 3-Definitions
173.150 Exceptions for Class 3 (flammable and combustible liquids)