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Quick Service Guide 601

Basic Standards for All Mailing Services

Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Materials

June 7, 2010
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This guide identifies many household products by their commonly used name (e.g., perfume rather than perfumery) that help determine mailability. Use this guide to quickly determine the mailing restrictions for potentially dangerous, but common, household products.

Identifying and categorizing hazardous materials can sometimes be difficult due to the technical makeup of the items and the complexity of the regulations surrounding them.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 601.8.0601.11.0 contains the standards that apply to the mailing of hazardous, restricted, and perishable mail.

Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, provides important information to help mailers determine what may be mailed and how certain items must be packaged to keep the mail safe. It also provides guidance to USPS employees accepting this mail.

Hazard Class
Type
Common Examples
Domestic
Int'l
Domestic Mail
Additional Information
Air
Sur.
DMM
Pub 52
Hazard Class 1 Explosives

Photo of dynamite sticks

Explosives
Fireworks, dynamite, grenades, small arms ammunition
N
N
N
All explosives are prohibited except as specified in DMM 601.10.0.
Hazard Class 2 Gases (Under Pressure)

Photo of aerosol can and fire extingisher

Flammable
Hairspray (in aerosol can)
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.12
ORM-D1 only.
Propane, camp stove fuel
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.12
ORM-D1 only.
Spray (in aerosol can)
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.12
ORM-D1 only.
Non-Flammable
Fire extinguishers
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.12
Fire extinguishers containing methyl bromide prohibited.
Nitrogen, compressed air
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.12
ORM-D1only.
Toxic
Ammonia, chlorine, carbon monoxide
N
N
N
All toxic gases are prohibited.
Hazard Class 3 Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Photo of paint buckets and cigarette lighter

Flammable Liquids (Flashpoint not more than 141 F)
Acetone, rubbing alcohol, witch hazel
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only (dependent on flashpoint).
Gasoline and items containing gasoline or gasoline fumes
N
N
N
Gasoline and items containing gasoline or gasoline fumes are always prohibited.
Paint, paint-related materials
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only (dependent on flashpoint).
Cigarette lighter, cigar lighter, lighter fluid (flammable liquid)
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
Pre-approval from PCSC required as per DMM 601.10.13.
Combustible Liquids (Flashpoint above 141 F and below 200 F)
Diesel fuel, kerosene
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only. Flashpoint must be greater than 141F.
Waxes & polishes
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only (dependent on flashpoint).
Adhesives, cements, and glue
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only (dependent on flashpoint).
Perfumes and colognes (liquids)
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.13
ORM-D1 only (dependent on flashpoint).
Hazard Class 4 Flammable Solids

Photo of strike anywhere matches

Flammable Matches
Card matches, book matches, safety matches
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.14
Must be properly packaged. Pub 52, Appendix C.
Flammable Matches
Strike anywhere matches
N
N
N
Prohibited.
Spontaneously Combustible
Iron oxide
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.14
ORM-D1 only.
Dangerous When Wet
Aluminum powder, calcium, lithium, sodium
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.14
ORM-D1 only.
Hazard Class 5 Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides

Photo of bag of fertilizer

Oxiders/Organic Peroxides
Ammonium nitrate, fertilizer, swimming pool chemicals
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.15
ORM-D1 only—Friction tops unacceptable.
Hydrogen peroxide (less than 20% solution
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.15
No restrictions up to 8%. Solution strength up to 20% is acceptable, if ORM-D1only.
Hazard Class 6 Toxic Substances

Photo of poison bottle and medical syringe

Poisons
Tear gas (except those containing oleoresin capsicum)
N
N
N
All irritants are prohibited.
Flea collars, cyanide, pesticides & herbicides
N2
N
N
Must check specific materials in Pub 52, Appendix A. ORM-D1 only.
Infectious Substances
Nonifectious Specimens
Blood, urine, saliva, stool
Y
Y
Y3
Max. Amt.
601.10.17
Must be properly packaged.
Biological & Medical Materials
Used sharps, medical devices
Y
Y
Y3
Max. Amt.
601.10.17
Items must be properly packaged for mailing; some require approval before mailing.
Hazard Class 7 Radioactive Material

Photo of NBC placard

Radioactive Materials
Devices containing radioactive materials
N
Y
Y4
Max. Amt.
601.10.18
347
Items must be properly packaged. International mail requires approval before mailing.
Hazard Class 8 Corrosives

Photo of battery

Liquid and Solid
Batteries with liquid electrolyte, hydrochloric acid
N
N
N
Nonspillable batteries may be permitted per DMM 601.10.19.
Primary lithium batteries (small non-rechargeable consumer-type batteries)
Y5
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.10.20.5
5 pound maximum weight without equipment, 11 lbs. maximum weight with equipment. Lithium content restrictions, see 601.10.20.7.
Secondary lithium-ion batteries (small rechargeable consumer-type batteries)
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.10.20.6
No more than 3 batteries. Lithium content restrictions, see 601.10.20.7 and 601.10.19.
Mercury, mercury-containing items (thermometer, etc.)
N
N
N
Mercury and items containing mercury are always prohibited.
Hazard Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials

Photo of horseshoe magnet

Miscellaneous
Dry ice
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.10.20.4
5 lbs. maximum for air (surface may exceed 5 lbs.) (Proper forms/warning labels required for air only).
Magnets, magnetized materials
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.10.21
Depends on magnetic strength.
Restricted Matter

Photos of handgun, wine bottle, pill bottle, toy, and jackknife

Firearms
Handguns (concealable fire arms)
N2
N2
N2
43
Except between authorized parties; international mail subject to ICL6 restrictions/prohibitions. No content markings on outside of mailpiece are permitted.
Rifles, shotguns, antique guns (unloaded)
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.11.2
43
No content markings on outside of mailpiece are permitted. Ammunition strictly prohibited.
Human Ashes
Animal Ashes
Pet Ashes
Cremated remains
Y
Y
Y
N/A
Registered mail required. International mail subject to ICL6 restrictions/prohibitions.
Intoxicating Liquors
Wine, bourbon, vodka, liquor, beer
N
N
N
42
Includes 0.5% alcohol content or greater.
Motor Vehicle Master Keys
Including locksmithing devices
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.11.10
46
Only if sent between authorized parties.
Odor-Producing Materials
Food, non-toxic inks and dyes, paper
N
N
N
451
Not considered hazardous material.
Controlled Substances
Narcotics
N2
N2
N
47
Generally, both the mailers and the addressee must meet special conditions.
Drugs
Prescription, non-prescription medicines, medications, prescription drugs
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.11.11
47
No content markings on outside of mail piece permitted. ICL6 restrictions/prohibition apply for international mail. Must meet state and federal laws.
Drug Paraphernalia
Illegal drugs, pipes
N
N
N
47
See Controlled Substance Act for more information on drug paraphernalia.
Battery-Powered Devices
Toys, clocks (operated by household-use-type battery
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.11.17
Battery must be permitted by DMM 601.11.17.
Sharp Instruments
Knives, razors, switchblades
Y
Y
Y
Max. Amt.
601.11.5
44
Only if sent between authorized parties. International mail subject to ICL6 restrictions/prohibitions for each country.
Perishable Matter Animals

Photo of chicken, turtle, rat, and crab

Bees
Honey bees (Queen bees)
Y
(Q7 only)
Y
Y
(Q7 only)
Max. Amt.
601.9.3.8
Disease-free queen bees may be accompanied by up to eight attendants by air. Honeybees without queen bees, surface only.
Adult Birds acceptable
Geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail, ducks, chickens, swans
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.9.3.4
Disease-free geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail, ducks, chickens, swans.
Adult Birds unacceptable
All other types of birds not listed above, such as canaries, parakeets, parrots
N
N
N
Prohibited.
Day-old Poultry
Chicks, ducks, geese, quail, partridges, pheasants (April through August), turkeys
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.9.3.2
Day-old poultry vaccinated with Newcastle disease (live virus) is nonmailable.
Dead Animals
Dried parts of game birds or fish
Y
Y
N2
Max. Amt.
601.9.4
Includes hides and furs. International mail subject to ICL6 restrictions/prohibitions. If dry ice is used, see DMM 601.9.4.
Live, cold blooded
Goldfish, crickets, worms
Y
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.9.3.3
Some exceptions.
Reptiles
Snakes, turtles
N
N
N
See Pub 52.
Live, warm blooded
Hamsters, mice, cats, rabbits, dogs, guinea pigs, or rats
N
N
N
Some adult birds permitted in domestic mail. See DMM 601.9.3.6.
Scorpiuons (live)
Scorpions
N
Y
N
Max. Amt.
601.9.3.10
Only for medical research or manufacture of antivenin.
Perishable Matter Food

Photo of fruit and cactus

Meats and Meat products
Fresh meat & fish. Frozen meat & fish.
Y
Y
N2
Max. Amt.
601.9.1
55
International mail subject to IC6 restrictions/prohibitions. If dry ice is used, see DMM 601.9.1.
Fresh Foods
Fruits, vegetables
Y
Y
N2
Max. Amt.
601.9.1
53
International mail subject to IC6 restrictions/prohibitions. If dry ice is used, see DMM 601.9.1.
Plants
Trees, citrus, cactus
Y
Y
N2
Max. Amt.
601.9.6
56
International mail subject to ICL6 restrictions/prohibitions. USDA regulations/prohibitions apply.
1Other Requlated Material (ORM).
2Except as permitted by mailing standards.
3Specimens only with prior HQ permission per IMM and Pub. 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.
4Only with written permission per IMM and Pub. 52.
5Prohibited without the equipment they operate.
7Q—Queen Bee.

 

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