Aerosol Standards Harmonization Study Begins

March 13, 2019

The Department of Transportation has contracted with Cambridge Systematics to assess the risks of the U.S. adopting the U.N. Model Regulations on aerosol container transportation, and to ensure the same level of safety as in current DOT regulations. Any rulemaking to adopt the Model Regulations would take place after the study’s conclusion early next year.

Current federal hazardous materials law allows the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to adopt more stringent standards than international law in the interest of safety or public interest. Otherwise, PHMSA is encouraged to harmonize its regulations with international standards.

The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) define aerosol containers as a “non-refillable receptacle containing gas compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure, the sole purpose of which is to expel a nonpoisonous liquid, paste, or powder.” The Model Regulations expand the definition to “with or without liquid, paste, or powder.”

Aligning the HMR with the Model Regulations would allow more non-fillable gas containers to be transported without a special permit, which industry has petitioned PHMSA to consider.