Hazardous Materials Transportation Accidents and Incidents - Box

Hazardous Materials Transportation Accidents and Incidents - Box

Infectious Substance: Anthrax

When shipped as a material between laboratories conducting experiments, anthrax is treated as a hazardous material and falls under the infectious substance division. Shipments, thus, have to conform to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, which include how the material is packaged.

Anthrax contaminated wastes generated from cleaning up private and public office buildings and post offices following the Fall 2001 mailings of envelopes containing the substance are, however, treated as infectious wastes, a category of solid wastes regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is responsible for implementing RCRA in partnership with individual states, set up special guidelines on disposal practices for the anthrax-contaminated wastes. Shipments of the wastes to disposal areas, however, must conform to DOT hazardous materials rules.