USPS Homepage Skip Navigation USPS Home   |   Postal Explorer Home
  Find a ZIP Code   /   Calculate Postage   /   Print a Shipping Label   /   Schedule a Pickup   /   Locate a Post Office   /   Track & Confirm  
Business Household Buy Stamps and Shop All Products and Services About USPS and News
Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents   Go to next section of document

7-2 Mailing Conditions

7-2.1 Postal Regulations

The Postal Service accepts for mailing a very small number of certain potentially hazardous materials that are not outwardly or of their own force dangerous or injurious to life, health, or property. Generally, this is limited to ORM-D materials that are hazardous materials presenting the lowest level of risk during transportation. The conditions of preparation and packaging under which such materials are accepted are explained in the DMM and in Publication 52. Conditions applicable to mailings of hazardous materials to foreign addresses are explained in the IMM.

7-2.2 Mailability Rulings

Postal standards for hazardous materials closely adhere to 49 CFR and very often include additional restrictions and prohibitions. Generally, the acceptability of chemicals and other types of hazardous materials for mailing depends on container fluid/vapor capacities, the ability of the complete package to contain the product, and the method of absorbing and containing the product in case the primary container accidentally leaks. To determine mailability of a specific product, a mailer must submit a material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the following information to the RCSC serving the mailer's location:

• Name of material, hazard class, and assigned UN or NA identification number.

• Chemical composition by percentage of ingredient.

• Flashpoint.

• Toxic properties.

• Effect of material when it is inhaled or swallowed or when it comes in contact with eyes or skin.

• Special precautions necessary to permit handling without harm to USPS employees or damage to property or other mail.

• Explanation of warning labels and shipping papers required by state or federal regulations.

• Proposed packaging method, including addressing and required markings.

Return to top of page

7-2.3 Packaging

To be acceptable for mailing, hazardous materials must be packaged as required by DMM C023 and Publication 52.

Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents   Go to next section of document