Shipment of Hazardous Material

In accordance with the regulatory requirements of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Amherst College shall incorporate the following procedures for the shipment of articles and substances with hazardous properties known as “dangerous goods.”


  • Ability to identify dangerous goods and utilize the appropriate resources for their shipment
  • Understand the implications of improper shipment of dangerous goods


  • Dangerous Goods - articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment 
  • Shipper - one that sends goods by any form of conveyance. the combination of functions described individiaully in regulations (packing, marking, labeling, etc.) relating to the offering of "dangerous goods" in commerce.

Improper Shipping:

Shipping dangerous goods without abiding by the regulatory requirements established by DOT and IATA have very serious implications. The regulations for shipping dangerous goods are in place to protect the health and safety of the people involved in transportation, the equipment and property used to handle the materials, and the environment. Special requirements have been estabilshed to safely transport, or to forbid the transport, of dangerous goods and if they are not strictly adheered to, could result in serious injury, illness or death. 

Failure to comply with with the IATA and DOT reguations can result in large civil penalties. The civil penalty a violation can result in five years' imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124)

Dangerous Goods:

In order to handle dangerous goods properly, you must be able to identify what dangerous goods are. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines hazardous materials as materials that pose an unreasonable threat to the public and the environment. 

The following classes are considered dangerous goods;

Class 1 - Explosives

  • Division 1.1 Mass Explosive Hazard
  • Division 1.2 Projection Hazard
  • Division 1.3 Mass Fire Hazard
  • Division 1.4 Minor Explosion Hazard
  • Division 1.5 Very Insensitive Explosives
  • Division 1.6 Extremely Insensitiive Explosives

Class 2 - Gases

  • Division 2.1 Flammable Gases
  • Division 2.2 Non-flammable Gases
  • Division 2.3 Poisonous or Toxic

Class 3 - Flammable Liquid

Class 4 - Flammable Solids

  • Division 4.1 Flammable Solid
  • Division 4.2 Spontaneously Combustible Material
  • Division 4.3 Dangerous When Wet

Class 5 - Oxidizing Substances; Organic Peroxides

  • Division 5.1 Oxidizer
  • Division 5.2 Organic Peroxide

Class 6 - Poisonous (Toxic) and Infectious Substances

  • Division 6.1 Poisonous (Toxic) Material
  • Division 6.2 Infectious Substance

Class 7 - Radioactive Material

Class 8 - Corrosives

Class 9 - Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Before you submit an item for shipment please consider if it could be considered a dangerous good. Common dangerous goods could enclude, but are not limited to;

  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Perfumes, aerosols
  • Solvents
  • Laboratory samples
  • Liquid mixtures
  • Compressed gas (oxygen, nitrogen, air, CO2, propane, ect)
  • Gas powered tools
  • Paints
  • Fireworks, explosives
  • Plants, viruses, biohazardous 

Not Cleared for Take-Off Poster

Shipment Resources:

If you have any reason to think that an item you must ship could be considered a dangerous good it needs to have the proper packaging, classification, and labeling in order to be sent. The following two faculty have been trained and are capable of identifiying and shipping dangerous goods. 

Kristi Evanson-Ohr

Laboratory Coordinator/Chemical Hygiene Officer

428 Merrill Science



Maureen Manning

Research Laboratory Coordinator

226 McGuire Life Sciences Building



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