DOT Regulations for Hazard Class 2.1

Special requirements exist for transportation of flammable gases such as propane.
Special requirements exist for transportation of flammable gases such as propane. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Department of Transportation and the International Air Transport Association control transportation of hazardous materials. Specific requirements exist for packaging, package marking, package labeling, vehicle marking and shipping papers dependent upon the material being transported. Hazard class 2.1 are flammable gases such as propane and acetylene.

Shipping Names

If the name of the gas being shipped is on the IATA List of Dangerous Goods, then the actual chemical name of the gas must be used when labeling. For instance, propane must be labeled UN 1978, Propane, 2.1. If the gas is not specified by name, or a mixture of gases is being shipped, accepted generic names can be found on Table 4.1A on the IATA list. The IATA list can be ordered at the IATA website.


The IATA List of Dangerous Goods specifies the correct way to package the gas based on how the gas will be transported, such as truck or aircraft. Generally, packaging for gases must withstand changes in humidity, temperature, pressure and vibration. The cylinder and any part of the cylinder must be made of a material that does not react with the particular gas being transported.


The vehicle, container or package must be marked appropriately, with information about the hazardous material being transported. The ID number, such as UN 1978, must be on each side of the package. The markings must be in English, legible and printed on a background that will contrast sharply with the ink used. The markings should also contain the name and address of the shipper and the recipient.


Hazardous materials being shipped must be labeled, designating the type of material being transported. Labeling has been designed according to Department of Transportation specifications, meeting size, shape and color requirements. They are printed by, and must be purchased from, authorized manufacturers. The packaging must be large enough to allow the label to adhere properly and, if possible, should be on the same side as the shipping information.

Shipping Papers

The shipping papers accompanying the hazardous material must properly identify the hazard. Information must include the proper name of the material, the hazard class, the ID number and must be in English and legible. The paperwork must include an emergency telephone number and information on the shipper’s certification. Additional paperwork may be required depending upon the mode of shipment, ground, air or by water.


The vehicle transporting the hazardous substance must display the appropriate placard and it is the shipper’s responsibility to confirm this. As with labeling, the placards are available from authorized manufacturers.

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