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

Interpretation Response #15-0151 ([HS&E Coordinator] [Mr. Peter Leus])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: HS&E Coordinator

Individual Name: Mr. Peter Leus

Location State: WI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 21, 2015

Peter Leus
HS&E Coordinator
1113 Maryland Ave.
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Ref. No. 15-0151

Dear Mr. Leus:

This is a response to your July 20, 2015 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the classification of an aqueous solution of alcohol. In your letter, you state that you have an aqueous solution which consists of four individual components other than water:

Component CAS Number Wt (%)
Isopropyl Alcohol 67-63-0 21.0 %
Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride 68391-01-5 .154 %
Alkyl Dimethyl Ethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride 68956-79-6 .154 %
Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether 111-76-2 de minimis


Specifically, you ask whether Germicidal Solution® is eligible for the aqueous solutions of alcohol exception provided in § 173.150(e)(2) of the HMR in that the material is not subject to the requirements of the subchapter if it contains no less than 50 percent water.

The exception for aqueous solutions of alcohol, as provided in § 173.150(e) of the HMR, is not applicable when another hazardous material is added to the solution. The term "hazardous material" is defined in § 171.8 as follows:

"a substance or material that the Secretary of Transportation has determined is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and has designated as hazardous under section 5103 of Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5103). The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials, materials designated as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Table (see 49 CFR 172.101), and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in part 173 of this subchapter."

This Office does not determine if components of a solution are hazardous. Under § 173.22 of the HMR, this responsibility is placed on the shipper. If a component (i.e., Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride, Alkyl Dimethyl Ethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride, or Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether) is a hazardous material under the HMR, the exception in § 173.150(e) does not apply. However, if you can establish that the other components used in your solution do not meet the definition of a hazardous material, then it is eligible for the exception in § 173.150(e).

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.150 Exceptions for Class 3 (flammable and combustible liquids)
173.22 Shipper's responsibility