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Emergency Response Can Be Toll Free In The Us

September 4th, 2001 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

In a recent inquiry to the US DOT, a shipper of hazardous materials asked if the Emergency Response telephone number (49CFR 171-180) required to accompany a hazardous materials shipment can be a phone number in the form of a toll-free number, (ie: 800, 888). The response from the DOT indicated that, "the emergency telephone number must include all necessary area codes needed to complete the call from within the United States." Therefore, any incident occurring outside the US would not be reachable via telephone if the shipper used a domestic toll free number for emergency response. It is the opinion of this author that with the increasing import and export of dangerous goods to the US, shippers will choose to use Emergency Telephone numbers that will include all necessary numbers for these calls to be completed from any point in the world. Numbers should include country codes and indicate optional internal dialing codes (ie: 0 or 1).

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