traveling with chemicals

Sean Barry sjbarry at UCDAVIS.EDU
Thu Aug 1 18:27:47 CDT 2002

On Thu, 1 Aug 2002, Neill, Amanda wrote:

> Dear Taxacomers,
>   The times being what they are, I am hesitating to pack certain useful
> chemicals as I prepare for a field trip to S. America (departing from New
> York City).  I would like to hear of any of your opinions or experiences in
> traveling internationally with FAA, Hoyer's solution, and other fixatives,
> preservatives, stains, or slide preparatives that contain "dangerous"
> chemicals.  If they can't be taken in checked luggage, and they can't be
> obtained in the destination country, what can you do about it?

For a lot longer than since September 11, 2001 it has been illegal to pack
hazardous chemicals in checked baggage.  Formalin is at the top of the
list of such prohibited items.  The other part of the problem is that many
nations don't allow the import of hazardous materials at all, or restrict
it to certain airports.  A couple of years ago a dry ice shipment was
returned to me after being refused entry into Italy because it did not
enter at a designated airport (just one or two in the country, and you'd
think FEDEX would have known that).  Those are realities that have been in
place for years, and all you can do about it if you are reluctant to limit
your operation is to try to find the chemicals locally in the destination
country.  That's probably easier now than it ever has been, but it would
obviously be helpful if you could arrange some local contact or perhaps an
academic person to obtain the chemicals ahead of time.

Sean Barry
Sean J. Barry
The Rowe Program in Molecular Genetics (mail address)
  and The Section of Evolution and Ecology
University of California
Davis, California  95616
(530) 752 9160
FAX (530) 754 6015
sjbarry at

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