What is Hazardous Mail?

Hazardous Mail includes many common household items that are restricted for mailing because of their harmful potential.

Hazardous mail is defined as mail that could potentially harm postal service employees or the public during the transit of the good(s). By USPS definition, hazarouds materials come in an assortment of materials including biological, radioactive, chemical or a combination thereof and include many common items you'd find in your home. While they pose no harm to you in your household, they can become dangerous with a temperature or pressure change or when shaken.

Common hazardous materials that are restricted to send include:

  • Nail Polish
  • Aerosols
  • Paints
  • Some batteries
  • Glues
  • Fireworks
  • Perfumes
  • Matches
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Airbags
  • Items previously containing fuel
  • Paint
  • Pool chemicals

And there may be some words in descriptions that alert you to a hazardous material item, such as:

  • Acidic
  • Caustic
  • Combustible communicable
  • Compressed gas
  • Corrosive
  • Explosive
  • Flammable
  • Infectious
  • Inflammable
  • Poison
  • Radioactive
  • Refrigerated
  • Toxic
  • Volatile

For more information regarding Hazardous Mail, please refer to the USPS Mailing Standard Manual.


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