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RSPA Publishes Exceptions for PIH Rule

The Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has published a final rule on Hazardous Materials: Exceptions from Labeling and Placarding Materials Poisonous by Inhalation (PIH).

In an interim final rule published Sept 16, 1999, and amended Sept 24, 1999, RSPA provided a limited exception — until Oct 1, 2001 — from requirements to place new “Poison Inhalation Hazard” or “Poison Gas” labels on packages of PIH materials to facilitate international transportation.

This final rule extends provisions of the interim final rule and provides additional exceptions from requirements to place new “Poison Inhalation Hazard” or “Poison Gas” labels and placards on certain packages and transport vehicles in international transportation; that is, between the United States and Mexico, and within port areas.

RSPA issued this final rule to provide additional labeling and placarding exceptions for certain shipments of PIH materials to facilitate international transportation of these materials until such time as the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods amends the UN Recommendations to either adopt or permit the use of the US PIH labels and placards.

This final rule took effect Oct 1, 2001. However, compliance with the regulations was authorized immediately.

For further information, contact Helen L Engrum, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards, RSPA, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington DC 20590-0001; or phone 202-366-8553. The rule can also be accessed at

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