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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 #19-0106

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Woodard & Curran, Inc.

Individual Name: Kelly V. Camp

Location State: RI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 2, 2020

Kelly V. Camp, CHMM, CPEA
Senior Project Manager
Woodard & Curran, Inc.
33 Broad Street
Floor 7
Providence, RI  02903

Reference No. 19-0106

Dear Ms. Camp:

This letter is in response to your August 16, 2019, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to hazard communication requirements for regulated medical waste. Specifically, you provide a variety of scenarios regarding shipments of regulated medical waste.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether a package of regulated medical waste marked with a "BIOHAZARD" marking in black ink on the package with no orange or orange-red background complies with § 173.134(c)(1)(i).

A1. The answer is no, if the "BIOHAZARD" marking does not conform with 29 CFR 1910.1030. In accordance with § 173.134(c)(1)(i), a package of regulated medical waste transported by private or contract carrier is excepted from the "INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE" label if the outer packaging is marked with a "BIOHAZARD" marking in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1030. As noted in your request, 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(C) specifies "[t]hese labels shall be fluorescent orange or orange-red or predominantly so, with lettering and symbols in contrasting color." You may wish to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) for clarification on whether your scenario meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(C). If the "BIOHAZARD" marking does not conform to 29 CFR 1910.1030, the package must display the § 172.432 infectious substances label.

Q2. You ask whether regulated medical waste placed in red bags that are further placed inside an outer package meets the exception of 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(E).

A2. See A1. You may wish to contact OSHA for clarification on whether your scenario meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(1)(i)(E).

Q3. You ask whether closure instructions are required for a package of regulated medical waste offered in accordance with the exceptions in § 173.134(c).

A3. The answer is no.  In accordance with § 178.2, closure instructions are required for DOT Specification or UN standard packaging. Both §§ 173.134(c)(1) and (2) provide exceptions for regulated medical waste, including packaging regulated medical waste in rigid non-bulk packaging conforming to the general packaging requirements of §§ 173.24 and 173.24a and the packaging requirements specified in 29 CFR 1910.1030. Therefore, when meeting these requirements, as well as the additional requirements in §§ 173.134(c)(1) or (2), the regulated medical waste is not subject to DOT Specification or UN standard packaging requirements, and thus is not required to have closure instructions.

Q4. You provide photos of packaging for regulated medical waste and ask whether the marking "UN 3291 N.O.S. 6.2, PG II" complies with § 172.301(a).

A4. The answer is no. As mentioned in your request, § 172.301(a) requires that except as otherwise provided by the subchapter, non-bulk packaging must be marked with the proper shipping name and identification number (preceded by "UN", "NA", or "ID", as appropriate) of the hazardous material(s) being offered for transportation. As listed in the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table, the proper shipping name for UN3291 is "Regulated medical waste, n.o.s. or Clinical waste, unspecified, n.o.s. or (BIO) Medical waste, n.o.s., or Biomedical waste, n.o.s. or Medical waste, n.o.s". As defined in § 171.8, "N.O.S." means "not otherwise specified," and is not an appropriate proper shipping name for UN3291 or any hazardous material. Therefore, the marking on the packaging pictured in your request does not meet the requirement of § 172.301(a) to mark the non-bulk package with the proper shipping name of the material being offered for transportation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.134(c)(1)(i), 172.432, 173.134(c), 178.2, 173.134(c)(1) and (2), 173.24, 173.24a, 172.301(a), 172.101, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
172.301 General marking requirements for non-bulk packagings
172.432 INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE label
173.134 Class 6, Division 6.2-Definitions and exceptions