traveling with chemicals

Neill, Amanda aneill at NYBG.ORG
Fri Aug 2 00:20:32 CDT 2002

Well, there are many definitions of "dangerous."

I have found the answers, with the help of Cornell's HazMat site

The Hazmat website <>,

a HazMat Table, listing all hazardous materials

and DOT's Forbidden hazardous materials

Turns out that as long as the chemical is not too dangerous (e.g. not
radioactive nor having a low flash point temperature), and you have less
than 30 ml or 30 g, and you package it carefully, and label it "This package
conforms to 49 CFR 173.4", then it falls under the small amounts exception,
and you can check it as luggage.  So a very tiny bit of even formalin or
glacial acetic acid is allowable (hopefully you only need a tiny bit).

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Barry
To: Neill, Amanda
Sent: 8/1/02 9:27 PM
Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] traveling with chemicals

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

> Dear Taxacomers,
>   The times being what they are, I am hesitating to pack certain
> chemicals as I prepare for a field trip to S. America (departing from
> York City).  I would like to hear of any of your opinions or
experiences in
> traveling internationally with FAA, Hoyer's solution, and other
> preservatives, stains, or slide preparatives that contain "dangerous"
> chemicals.  If they can't be taken in checked luggage, and they can't
> 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
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
nations don't allow the import of hazardous materials at all, or
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
place for years, and all you can do about it if you are reluctant to
your operation is to try to find the chemicals locally in the
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
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

More information about the Taxacom mailing list