Hazardous Materials Management (HAZMAT)

Hazardous Material is commonly referred to as HAZMAT or Dangerous Goods by industry and the U.S. Government. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in 29 CFR 1910.1200, and GSA in FED-STD-313 define Hazardous Material as:

Any item or chemical which is a "health hazard" or "physical hazard", including the following:

  • Chemicals that are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents that act on the hematopoietic system, and agents that damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes;
  • Chemicals that are combustible liquids, compressed gases, explosives, flammable liquids, flammable solids, organic peroxides, oxidizers, pyrophorics, unstable (reactive) or water-reactive; and
  • Chemicals that, in the course of normal handling, use or storage, may produce or release dusts, gases, fumes, vapors, mists or smoke having any of the above characteristics.

Any item or chemical which, when being transported or moved, is a risk to public safety or is an environmental hazard, and is regulated as such by one or more of the following:

  • DOT-Department of Transportation; Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR 100-180);
  • IMO-International Maritime Organization; International MaritimeDangerous Goods (IMDG) Code;
  • IATA-International Air Transport Association; Dangerous Goods Regulations;
  • ICAO-International Civil Aviation Organization; Technical Instructions; and
  • AF-Air Force "INTERSERVICE" Manual, Preparing Hazmat for Military Air Shipments (AFMAN 24-204).

HAZMAT also includes any item or chemical which is reportable or potentially reportable or noticeable as inventory under the reporting requirements of the Hazardous Chemical Reporting (40 CFR Part 302), or as an environmental release under the reporting requirements of the Toxic Chemical Release Reporting: Community Right To Know (40 CFR Part 372).

These include chemicals with special characteristics which, in the opinion of the manufacturer, can cause harm to people, plants, or animals when released by spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing of in the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other receptacles).

Also, HAZMAT includes an item or chemical if it is a special nuclear source or by-product material as defined in 10 CFR, or is regulated or referred to as radioactive.


The full title of FED-STD-313 is "Material Safety Data, Transportation Data, And Disposal Data, For Hazardous Materials Furnished To Government Activities." The latest revision is FED-STD-313F [PDF - 166 KB], dated October 12, 2018.

The purpose of the standard is to establish requirements for the preparation and submission of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) by contractors who provide hazardous materials to government activities. Data obtained will be used within the government in employee safety and health programs and to provide for safe handling, storage, use, transportation, and environmentally acceptable disposal of hazardous materials by government activities.

Contact points for Hazmat information

The Hazardous Materials Information Resource System (HMIRS) is a Department of Defense (DoD) automated system developed and maintained by the Defense Logistics Agency. HMIRS is the central repository for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the United States Government military services and civil agencies. It also contains value-added information input by the service/agency focal points.

This value-added data includes HAZCOM warning labels and transportation information. HMIRS provides this data for hazardous materials purchased by the federal government through the Department of Defense (DoD) and civil agencies. The system assists federal government personnel who handle, store, transport, use, or dispose of hazardous materials.

The Hazardous Material Information Resource System (HMIRS) is FOR OFFICAL USE ONLY (FOUO). Unauthorized distribution of this product or its contents is strictly prohibited and may be punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, and/or a fine up to $10,000.

OSHA's website, contains listings of various OHSA publications and regulations.

Regulatory questions can be submitted to the following authorities

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Coast Guard (IMDG questions)

Shipping questions can be submitted to

FEDEX (If shipping FEDEX Air contact the FEDEX Dangerous Goods Experts)
Regulator Services Number

UPS Hazmat Support Center

For additional information or questions, contact Jawad Abdeljawad at jawad.abdeljawad@gsa.gov or 703-605-2566.

Last Reviewed: 2023-03-03