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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 #99-0033 ([Fine Metals] [Ms. Christy Schwartz])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Fine Metals

Individual Name: Ms. Christy Schwartz

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

MAR 4, 1999


Ms. Christy Schwartz                              Ref. No. 99-0033
Shipping and Receiving
Fine Metals
15117 Washington Highway
Ashland, Virginia 23005

Dear Ms. Schwartz:

This responds to your letter of January 29, 1999, concerning transportation requirements for magnesium and magnesium alloys under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49. CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask for a definition of the term "pellets" as it is used in the Hazardous Materials Table entry "Magnesium or Magnesium alloys with more than 50 percent magnesium in pellets, turnings or ribbons."

The term "pellets" is not specifically defined in the HMR. The phrase "pellets, turnings or ribbons" is used in the Hazardous Materials Table to distinguish those forms of magnesium that are hazardous from magnesium in ingots and other structural forms that are not hazardous. The absence of a plus (+) sign in column 1 of the Hazardous Materials Table indicates that the listed material may not be subject to the HMR in all instances. In the case of magnesium, the determining factor is not the size of the pellets, turnings, or ribbons that are being shipped. Rather, a determination as to whether magnesium is subject to the HMR as a Division 4.1 material must be based on an evaluation of its performance when tested in accordance with the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria. Thus, if the magnesium pellets you ship show a burning rate faster than 2.2 mm per second when tested in
accordance with the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, then they meet the definition for a Division 4.1 material no matter how large or small the pellets are (see § 173. 124 (a) (3) (ii) of the HMR).

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


Thomas G. Allan
Senior Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility