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 #10-0082 ([Osram Sylvania] [Mr. John Fichera])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Osram Sylvania

Individual Name: Mr. John Fichera

Location State: MA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 29, 2011




Mr. John Fichera

Manager, Product Safety and Compliance

Government Regulatory Affairs

Osram Sylvania

100 Endicott Street

Danvers, MA 01923

Ref. No. 10-0082

Dear Mr. Fichera:

This is in response to your letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to radioactive manufactured articles. Your questions specifically concern the applicability of the HMR to finished light bulbs and to the tungsten filaments alone normally encapsulated within the finished light bulbs that both contain small amounts of naturally occurring thorium. I apologize for the delay in responding and any inconvenience it may have caused. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Does a finished light bulb meet the definition of a manufactured article under § 173.403?

A1. It would if the radioactive material activity concentration and consignment activity totals are both above the § 173.436 exempt radionuclide limits.

Q2. Does tungsten wire containing thorium that is formed into filaments meet the conditions specified for a manufactured article under § 173.424?

A2. No, it would not. Because the active material is not completely enclosed by non-active components, the filaments you describe in your letter do not meet the criterion for a manufactured article as specified in § 173.424(e).

Q3. What is the basis of the HMR requirements for radioactive materials in transportation, theoretical calculations of radioactivity, or, actual measured radioactivity?

A3. Measured activity forms the basis of the HMR requirements for radioactive materials offered for transportation and transported in commerce. Where direct measurement is not feasible, calculations are normally suitable. Therefore, if the applicable conditions can be met by actual measurement, the manufactured articles you describe in your letter are eligible for the exceptions provided for such articles in § 173.424.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.403, 173.436, 173.424

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.403 Definitions
173.424 Excepted packages for radioactive instruments and articles
173.436 Exempt material activity concentrations and exempt consignment activity limits for radionuclides