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Interpretation Response #15-0247 ([Infineum USA L.P.] [David Bower, Ph.D.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Infineum USA L.P.

Individual Name: David Bower, Ph.D.

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

David B. Bower, Ph.D.
Product Stewardship Advisor, Americas
Infineum USA L.P.
1900 East Linden Avenue
P.O. Box 735
Linden, NJ  07036

Reference No. 15-0247

Dear Mr. Bower:

This is in response to your December 16, 2015 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to testing.  Specifically, you ask if the tests your company performed on high-density polyethylene that are fluorinated at several levels of barrier protection for compatibility with Class 3 (flammable) liquids, comply with the “Procedure for Testing Chemical Compatibility and Rate of Permeation in Plastic Packaging and Receptacles” as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 173, Appendix B of the HMR.

The answer is no.  Section 2 of 49 CFR Part 173, Appendix B, prescribes only three test methods for determining compatibility and rate of permeation in plastic packagings and receptacles.  Test Method 2 requires 28 days of testing at a temperature no lower than 50 °C (122 °F).  Your report states that its tests were conducted at 50 °C for 112 days.  While the HMR is clear that the temperature used for this test method can be higher, the length of time permitted for the test must be 28 days.  If your company would like to vary from these test methods, it must apply for an approval in conformance with the requirements prescribed in § 173.24(e)(3)(iii).  This section states that if alternative procedures or rates of permeation are requested they must yield a level of safety equivalent to or greater than that prescribed in § 173.24(e)(3)(ii), and must be specifically approved by the Associate Administrator.  To apply for this approval, you must submit an approval application to the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety in conformance with the requirements prescribed in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart H.  

I hope this satisfies your request.


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

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.24 General requirements for packagings and packages
173.24 General requirements for packagings and packages