Hazardous Shipping/Transportation

University Policy

The University's general policy on the shipment of hazardous materials is stated in the Business Policy and Procedure Manual 7:040.

"No package containing a hazardous material shall be shipped, offered for shipment or prepared for shipment, from or by anyone representing the University of Missouri, without having first completed the appropriate hazmat employee training as determined and approved by Environmental Health & Safety (EHS, 882-7018), 8 Research Park Development Building."

The Department of Transportation regulates the transport of hazardous materials in commerce. Hazardous materials are "in commerce" when they are offered to commercial carriers for shipment. The regulations require that anyone who participates in the transportation of hazardous materials be trained, tested, and certified in their duties. This is accomplished at MU by trained EHS staff members participating in shipment preparation, or by EHS providing appropriate training to campus personnel who participate in shipping.


Some Potentially Hazardous Materials in Transport

  • Substances that cause disease in humans or animals
  • Human or animal specimens sent for diagnostic or investigational purposes
  • Dry ice, liquid nitrogen
  • Genetically modified organisms or microorganisms
  • Tissue fixative solutions
  • Gas cylinders
  • Flammable, corrosive, toxic, or oxidizing materials
  • Chemicals being returned to manufacturer


Shipping Process

As soon as you know you will need to ship a potentially hazardous material from MU, you should contact the appropriate EHS section to request a regulatory determination on the material.

  • For chemical materials (dry ice, solvents, novel chemical compounds, liquid nitrogen, gas cylinders, chemicals being returned to distributor, chemical preservatives for biological material)     
  • For biological materials (tissue, blood, bacterial/viral cultures, genetically modified organisms)
  • For radioactive materials (licensed isotopes, naturally occurring radioactive materials)

Many materials related to scientific research are hazardous or can have the appearance of being hazardous to the transport worker or casual observer during transport. Sometimes it is prudent to clearly document and communicate the non-hazardous nature of a shipment, with which EHS can assist.

EHS staff will evaluate whether the material intended to be shipped is impacted by any applicable transport regulations. These consist primarily of:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) 49 CFR Parts 100-185, Hazardous Materials Regulations
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (a guide to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air)
  • US Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual and/or Publication 52 (Note: very few hazardous materials are mailable)

For simple shipments, regulatory determination on the material can be done rather quickly, but for more complex types of shipments, research into the regulatory impact could take considerably more time. Please keep this in mind when planning shipments.

In addition, there may be other EHS requirements for the transfer of some materials whether they are regulated by DOT for transport or not (see Other EHS Links below).

Once the regulatory determination has been made for the material to be shipped, a representative from EHS HMS will participate in the preparation of the package and/or shipping documents. This can be accomplished by meeting at the shipper’s location or at the EHS Resource Recovery Center.  

For some shipments, a commercially manufactured and tested packaging may be required by regulation, and would need to be ordered by the shipper from a supplier in advance of the shipment.

Training for shipment of some hazardous materials is offered by EHS for those wishing or needing to operate more autonomously (see links below). EHS will work with the shipper to determine what training is necessary, and the best way to achieve that training.

Under no circumstances should hazardous material packages be delivered to the carrier’s shipping terminal or drop-off location for shipment from MU.


Vehicular Transport on Campus

MU can, in certain circumstances , transport hazardous materials to or between campus locations without adhering to the full regulatory requirements that are otherwise in effect when transporting in commerce. Call (573) 882-3736, or email hazmat@missouri.edu for complete information on transporting between campus locations.