Hazardous Materials Shipping at MIT

Updated July 29, 2016

The EHS Office provides services to assure hazardous materials or dangerous goods are shipped by air, land or sea, in accordance with all regulatory requirements. Hazardous materials include things like hazardous chemicals, biological materials, radioactive materials, and miscellaneous items such as lithium batteries and equipment containing lithium batteries, other batteries, strong magnets, and items under pressure.  If you have a question about whether a substance or item you want to ship is a hazardous material or dangerous good, contact the EHS Office at (617) 452-3477. 

WARNING:  Failure to comply with regulations for shipping hazardous materials can result in significant civil penalties for the shipper of up to $50,000.00 per violation.  These regulations require that only properly trained personnel are to prepare shipments of hazardous materials.  There are detailed training requirements.  The EHS Office has staff with required training.  Please contact the EHS Office for assistance with hazardous material shipments.

To request assistance for shipments:   

  • Please provide the EHS Office with advanced notice (3 business days).
  • Call EHS at (617) 452-3477 (2-EHSS) or submit a request to environment@mit.edu
  • Provide information using forms linked below.

Intent to ship hazardous materials form(Chemical shipments and miscellaneous dangerous goods such as strong magnets and lithium batteries). You will need to provide an SDS for each chemical you want to ship.
Intent to ship biological materials form
 (Biological materials) 
(For more details regarding shipping biological materials, go to:  http://ehs.mit.edu/site/content/shipping-biological-materials)

If you would like to ship radioactive materials, contact the Radiation Protection Program by calling the EHS Office main number:  617-452-3477.

  • International shipments, e.g. exports, of hazardous materials may require special approvals and additional paperwork obtained through the Office of Sponsored Programs with staff who oversee exports from MIT. Depending on what is being shipped, this may take a significant amount of time.  Plan accordingly.  For additional information, visit: http://web.mit.edu/osp/www/Export_Controls/index_files/resources.htm

Note:  The re-shipping of hazardous materials such as virgin chemicals or products not produced at MIT to collaborators or for field work is discouraged.  Arrangements should be made for suppliers of such materials to ship the chemical or product directly to where it is needed.  If this is not possible, then contact the EHS Office.

Shipping Service.

The EHS Office will provide the packaging, properly pack, label, and prepare paperwork for the shipment.  EHS will charge back against an account number for the packaging  supplies.   If dry ice is required, the requestor must provide that.  The requestor is responsible for assuring all shipping costs are paid.

Training.

The preparers of shipments of hazardous materials must be trained in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Transportation(DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  The EHS office maintains trained staff to provide the shipping service.  We provide awareness training by way of email and a phone call to individuals who may need to ship hazardous materials.  For biological shipping, the EHS Office provides classroom training to individuals in labs who make routine shipments of some types of biological materials.  This training also covers shipping with dry ice.  For more details, visit http://ehs.mit.edu/site/content/shipping-biological-materials.  For questions concerning training, contact the EHS Office at (617) 452-3477 or email environment@mit.edu.

Additional Information.

More details regarding shipping and EHS support is provided in the SOPs linked below.