Hazardous Materials

Various federal, state, and local regulations govern the purchase and use of hazardous materials and devices. A hazardous material is any material that may pose a hazard to human health or the environment because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or biological characteristics. 

Certain classes of these items require additional licensing before they can be purchased. The Environmental Health and Safety oversees and approves these purchases where necessary.  


Hazardous materials, both restricted and non-restricted, must be purchased using a purchase order; use of a university PCard is prohibited. The authorization for individuals to procure, use, or possess restricted hazardous materials is granted by government agencies and is dependent on the conditions listed in permits or licenses. Contact Environmental Health and Safety for license and permit information. Whenever possible, purchased quantities should be kept to a minimum. Less toxic alternatives should be used when available.

Classes of restricted hazardous materials are generally summarized by the following list:

  • Controlled Substances (drugs): Individuals must have a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license.
  • Prescription Drugs, Medical Oxygen and/or Quantities of Diethyl Ether Greater than 2.5 Liters: Individuals must receive a Florida Department of Health permit or a written exemption.
  • Explosive Materials: Individuals must have a State of Florida permit to be listed on the university’s Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) explosives license.
  • Radioactive Materials: Individuals must be listed on the university’s Florida Department of Health license.
  • Ionizing Radiation-producing Equipment (analytical and medical): Equipment must be registered with and inspected by the Florida Department of Health.
  • Tax-free Alcohol (pure or 100-proof ethanol): Individuals must request permission to purchase on the university’s Federal ATF permit.
  • Select Agents (infectious biological materials and human toxins): Individuals must request permission to purchase, and UCF Environmental Health and Safety must register the materials with the Federal Centers for Disease Control.

Purchase orders for explosives, radioactive materials, tax-free alcohol, and select agents must be approved by Environmental Health and Safety prior to processing the requisition through Procurement Services. Departments are required to choose the appropriate category code in PeopleSoft when creating a requisition to the workflow routes the requisition to Environmental Health and Safety for approval. See the Addy Note Creating a Requisition to Purchase Hazardous Materials for step-by-step instructions.

All radioactive materials must be received at the Environmental Health and Safety office. All other types of restricted hazardous materials may be received by the individuals who placed the order. Departments must keep all restricted hazardous materials secure and maintain records of quantities used and on hand, as these records are subject to state and federal audit on demand. 

Departments ordering non-restricted hazardous materials are required to maintain an updated chemical inventory. Orders of hazardous chemicals must include a statement requesting the supplier to furnish Safety Data Sheets (SDS). A copy should be forwarded to the Environmental Health and Safety upon receipt.