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Chapter 21 : Packing and Shipping Biological Materials

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Abstract:

This chapter provides practical guidance to facilitate compliance with current national and international regulations that govern the packing and shipping of hazardous materials and dangerous goods. Topics in this chapter include terminology, classification and naming of diagnostic specimens and infectious substances, marking and labeling packages, packaging material, documentation, training and certification of personnel, practical suggestions for classifying diagnostic specimens and infectious substances, and resources for additional information. Medical waste which is reasonably believed to have a low probability of containing infectious substances must be packed and shipped as Medical Waste. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements, and IATA packing instructions (PI) describe the minimum standards for the safe transport of various biological materials. The marking and labeling on the outer container communicate essential information regarding the shipper and consignee of the package, the nature and weight of the contents of the package, the potential hazard of the substance, how the substance is packed, and information to be used in case of an emergency. There are several simple but extremely important points which must be regularly and strongly emphasized to persons who pack and ship diagnostic specimens and infectious substances.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21

Key Concept Ranking

Rift Valley fever virus
0.6317451
Eastern equine encephalitis virus
0.5559357
Classical swine fever virus
0.5053961
West nile virus
0.47380885
0.6317451
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Algorithm to help shippers select appropriate PI. The algorithm represents our interpretations of IATA and DOT regulations through June 2, 2006.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Labels which indicate an infectious substance (Class 6), proper shipping name, UN number, and quantity of substance.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Markings which indicate a Biological Substance, Category B, and appropriate UN number.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4

Label which indicates a miscellaneous (Class 9) dangerous good (2 kg of dry ice).

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5

Label which indicates correct orientation of package during shipping.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 6
FIGURE 6

Label which indicates that the substance must be transported only in cargo (not passenger) aircraft.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 7
FIGURE 7

Marking which indicates that an overpack is used and inner packages comply with regulations.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 8
FIGURE 8

Label which indicates an Exempt Human Specimen.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 9
FIGURE 9

Label which indicates that the outer container has met IATA-specified manufacturing standards.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 10
FIGURE 10

A completely labeled outer package. The primary container inside the package contains an Exempt Human Specimen and is packed according to IATA directions.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 11
FIGURE 11

A completely labeled outer package. The primary container inside the package contains a Biological Substance, Category B (diagnostic or clinical specimen), and is packed according to PI 650.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 12
FIGURE 12

A completely labeled outer package. The primary container inside the package contains a Category A infectious substance and is packed according to PI 602.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 13
FIGURE 13

Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods, showing the 13 sections which must be completed by the shipper.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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Image of FIGURE 14
FIGURE 14

Completed Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods.

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
1. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2005. Agricultural Bio-terrorism Protection Act of 2002: Possession, Use, and Transfer of Biological Agents and Toxins; final rule (7 CFR Part 331; 9 CFR Part 121). Fed. Regist. 70:1324213292.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2005. Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins; final rule (42 CFR Part 73). Fed. Regist. 70:1329413325.
3. Denys, G. A., L. D. Gray, and, J. W. Snyder. 2004. Cumitech 40, Packing and Shipping Diagnostic Specimens and Infectious Substances. Coordinating ed., D. L. Sewell. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.
4. Gilchrist,, M. J. R.,, W. P. McKinney,, J. M. Miller, and, A. S. Weissfeld. 2000. Cumitech 33, Laboratory Safety, Management, and Diagnosis of Biological Agents Associated with Bioterrorism. Coordinating ed., J. W. Snyder. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.
5. International Air Transport Association. 2006. IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, 47th ed. International Air Transport Association, Montreal, Canada.
6. McKay, J., and, D. O. Fleming. 2000. Packaging and shipping biological materials, p. 411–423. In D. O. Fleming and D. L. Hunt (ed.), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, 3rd ed. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.
7. Snyder, J. W. 2002. Packaging and shipping of infectious substances. Clin. Microbiol. Newsl. 24:8993.
8. U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. 2006. Hazardous materials: infectious substances; harmonization with the United Nations recommendations; proposed rule. Fed. Regist. 71:3224432263.
9. U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration. 2004. Harmonization with the United Nations recommendations, International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions; final rule. Fed. Regist. 69:7604376187.
10. U.S. Postal Service. 2006. Domestic Mail Manual. 6 [Online.]http://pe.usps.com/DMMdownload.asp.
11. World Health Organization. 2004. Transport of infectious substances. Background to the amendments adopted in the 13th revision of the United Nations Model Regulations guiding the transport of infectious substances. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. [Online.] http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/WHO_CDS_CSR_LYO_2004_9/en/.
12. World Health Organization. 2005. Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. [Online.] http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/biosafety/WHO_CDS_CSR_LYO_2005_22/en/.

Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Agencies governing transportation of dangerous goods

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
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TABLE 2

IATA-defined classes of dangerous goods

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Types, proper shipping names, UN numbers, and PI (or packing directions) for IATA class 6.2 infectious substances

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
Generic image for table
TABLE 4

Examples of infectious substances included in Category A in any form unless otherwise indicated

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
Generic image for table
TABLE 5

Information provided in the IATA alphabetical list of dangerous goods and applicable to completing a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
Generic image for table
TABLE 6

Selected examples of dangerous goods from the IATA alphabetical list of dangerous goods

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21
Generic image for table
TABLE 7

Comparison of IATA PI 650 and PI 602, and packing directions for Exempt Human Specimens

Citation: Gray L, Snyder J. 2006. Packing and Shipping Biological Materials, p 383-401. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch21

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