IBC Policies and Guidelines

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Shipment of Biological Materials and Dry Ice

Federal regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180) outline shipping requirements for hazardous materials including biological, radioactive and corrosive materials, dry ice, compressed gasses, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, and poisons. Visit the GPO Access website and select Title 49 and under Hazardous materials regulations, select the appropriate number 171-180 to get information.

If transported by commercial carriers (FedEx, DHL, UPS), shipments are regulated by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Office of Hazardous Materials Safety and/or the International Air Transport Authority (IATA). When materials are shipped out of the country, items that may not be considered hazardous in the United States may be classified as hazardous in other countries. To comply with international shipping regulations, these materials must be properly classified, documented, packaged, and handled. For shipments of biological and radioactive materials, transport or export permits and/or authorization may be required in advance of shipment.

Federal law requires that anyone who is involved in or responsible for preparing or transporting a hazardous material must have DOT training and certification. No one is exempt from these federal transportation requirements. Failure to comply can result in imprisonment of the individual responsible for shipment and substantial fines to both that individual and the institution. Compliance monitoring has significantly increased in response to threats of bioterrorism.

Supervisors of projects using either recombinant DNA or microbiological biohazards are the individuals responsible for shipping regulations compliance. The UMMC Shipment of Biological Materials Manual provides guidance for shipment of biological/hazardous materials. Environmental Health and Safety can provide training and on-line certification of individuals responsible for shipment of biological/hazardous materials. State and federal laws limit shipping services to activities that are considered official UMC business.

Contact the biological safety officer Kimberly Kennedy at (601) 815-5074 for more information regarding training, certification, and services.