Biological specimens that contain chemical preservatives such as ethanol, formaldehyde or formalin are regulated as hazardous materials by both the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Hazardous materials are generally defined as any substance that could adversely affect the safety of the public, handlers or carriers during transportation. Shipments of hazardous materials must be packaged, marked and accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration.
Certain hazardous materials are exempt from shipping requirements when shipped in small quantities. These materials may be shipped as “Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities” with an “Excepted Quantities” label instead of completion of a Dangerous Goods declaration.