Hazardous Materials Shipping Guide



All hazardous materials shipments must be submitted using the online submission system

Hazardous Materials Shipping Guide (PDF)



Shipment of Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials shipping is available Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. 

Use of hazardous materials is an integral part of research at Iowa State University. At times, it is necessary to ship these hazardous materials to a colleague, another research facility, back to the manufacturer, or to a field research site.  Hazardous materials may include such items as

  • laboratory chemicals

  • radioactive materials

  • compressed gases

  • biological agents

  • diagnostic specimens

  • animal or human tissues, blood, serum, etc.

  • equipment or instruments that contain hazardous materials

  • lithium batteries

  • dry ice

When these materials are offered for transport by UPS, FedEx, or another commercial carrier, that shipment is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and/or international agencies (IATA, ICAO).

To comply with shipping regulations, these materials must be properly classified, packaged, documented, and handled by trained employees. Failure to meet these regulatory requirements may result in citations, fines, and/or imprisonment. Fines can range from $250 to $250,000 per violation.

To begin the process of shipping hazardous materials, download the Hazardous Materials Shipping Guide (PDF). EH&S provides assistance with package selection, material classification, and documentation. 

For the process to ship radioactive materials, see the Radioactive Material Shipping page.

Questions? Contact an EH&S shipping specialist: hazship@iastate.edu


ISU employees who ship hazardous materials must take the following online course, available in Workday Learning. Training must be updated every two years. If you need assistance, please contact ehstrain@iastate.edu.

Information for Travelers

Hazardous Materials Regulations forbid many items in carry-on and/or checked baggage. This include chemicals, biological materials, and lithium batteries. Passengers violating these regulations can be fined from $250 to $50,000. Before traveling, make sure that all materials in your carry-on/checked baggage are permitted.

For information on which materials are forbidden in carry-on and/or checked baggage see the FAA Pack Safe website.

FedEx has advised that all styrofoam coolers containing dry ice must be in a cardboard box.

Styrofoam containers that contain dry ice will not be accepted for shipment at Postal and Parcel unless enclosed in a cardboard box.