RE: [Histonet] Paraffin blocks - Dangerous goods?

From:"Bauer, Karen"

Our safety person in the lab has just "trained" us all on the proper
packaging of specimens in the lab based on the new regulations that are out.
Regulations come from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),
the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the USPS, and the
Department of Transportation (DOT).  Risk groups are ranged from 1 to 4 with
1 being "No to Low Risk" and 4 being "High Risk".  Low risk specimens are
things like diagnostic serum, whole blood, urine, or tissue samples not
known to contain pathogens.  Packaging for these specimens need to have a
primary container (a bio-hazard bag would be fine for tissue blocks, or
maybe the paraffin block itself is the primary container since the tissue is
embedded inside it.  I'll have to check on that...), then a secondary
container (which could be another bio-hazard bag), and then an outer package
that is sturdy.  This could be a cardboard box or one of those insulated
manila envelopes used for fragile items.  We do not need to really worry
about the outer package, since the couriers that pick up our specimens from
the lab have coolers or bio-hazard containers that they put the specimens
into.  This is considered the "outer package".  Our safety person then had
everyone who went through the presentation take a short quiz (for
competency) and gave us a "Certificate" of being trained.  This training
will need to be done every 2 years.  Everyone in the lab is being trained,
since at some point we will all need to know how to ship something out
whether it will be Diagnostic or Infectious Specimens (Risk 1 to Risk 4).

Karen Bauer HT(ASCP
Histology Supervisor
Luther Hospital
Eau Claire, WI

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Cartun []
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 10:12 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Paraffin blocks - Dangerous goods?

I have just been told that paraffin tissue blocks are considered
"Dangerous Goods" and can only be packaged and shipped by individuals
who have received special training.  Would anyone like to comment on
this?  Thank you.


Richard W. Cartun, Ph.D.
Director, Immunopathology & Histology
Assistant Director, Anatomic Pathology
Hartford Hospital
80 Seymour Street
Hartford, CT  06102
(860) 545-1596
(860) 545-0174 Fax

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