2.4 Purchasing Hazardous Materials

Purchasing Considerations and Restrictions for some types of Hazardous Materials

There are special considerations for purchasing of the following types of materials:

Controlled Substances

In conducting research with controlled substances, University-authorized employees must comply with federal and state laws and regulations regarding their uses, including registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), storage requirements, inventory maintenance, and substance disposal.

The use of centralized purchasing of controlled substances is highly recommended. On the Minneapolis campus, Boynton Pharmacy obtains, and often stocks, the controlled substances commonly used in animal research. In St. Paul, the Veterinary Medical Center pharmacy can supply most controlled drugs.

A condensed guide to federal regulations as well as policies and forms pertaining to controlled substances are available on the Controlled Substances webpage.

The UMN Controlled Substances Manager will assist with questions. Contact the Program Manager at [email protected].

Chemicals of Interest - Weaponizable Chemicals

The Department of Homeland Security, by authority of the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act, has established chemical registration and facility security requirements for weaponizable “chemicals of interest”.

Any UMN employee who intends to possess or purchase a weaponizable chemical above screening threshold quantities must obtain approval from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and register with the Department of Homeland Security.

A list of the Chemicals of Interest and their threshold quantities is available on the Department of Homeland Security website.

In addition to the registration paperwork, the rules require facilities to establish and document physical security controls and background checks on users.

Cooperation by the research community to purchase these chemicals consistently through the University's purchasing system is necessary to maintain compliance with this regulation.

Purchase Chemicals of Interest only through the EFS system and UMarket. 

The UMN Chemicals of Interest Program Manager will assist with questions and registration with the Department of Homeland Security. Contact the Program Manager at [email protected].

Resources: Chemical of Interest Reminder Poster

Tax-Free Alcohol

Alcohol used for education, scientific research, or medicinal purposes can be purchased tax-free through UMarket, which holds the University of Minnesota site license for alcohol purchases with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Further information and links to the ordering form are available at the following link: Tax Free Alcohol Ordering Procedures.

Select Agent Toxins

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have established regulations for the security, possession, use, and transfer of select agent toxins.

Investigators or lab directors who intend to purchase or possess a select agent toxin in excess of threshold quantity limits (see the Biosafety and Occupational Health website for more information) must obtain approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee and register with the CDC.

In addition to the registration paperwork, the rules require facilities to establish and document physical security controls, and places restrictions on persons eligible to access a select agent toxin.

The Institutional Biosafety Officer will assist with CDC registration. Contact the HSRM office at (612) 626-6002. Additional Information regarding the select agents program can be found on the HSRM Occupational Health and Biosafety website.

Radioactive Material 

The University of Minnesota has a centralized program for the ordering and receipt of radioactive materials. Having a centralized ordering program managed by the Department of Radiation Safety (DRS) enables the University to obtain substantial price reductions on the cost of commonly used radioisotopes and radiolabeled chemicals, and it ensures compliance with state and federal regulations regarding inventory control of radioactive materials.

Orders of radioactive material are placed through the DRS, and on a daily basis the DRS submits purchase orders to the various vendors that supply radioactive materials.

Submit all radioactive materials orders online using the radioactive materials inventory and permit management system, IsoTrack.

Check with your lab supervisor or program manager for specific instructions on ordering procedures, and to see if your department has established additional internal procedures for the authorization or submission of radioactive material orders to the DRS.