Re: reply-transport of tissues

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:Linda E Durbin <>, valerie degroff <>, "\"\"" <>
Date:Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:30:03 -0600
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


I'm glad to see you don't ship in formalin.  Most labs don't know that
formalin, when shipped by air, is considered a dangerous good and must be
shipped in accordance with U.S. Dept. of Transportation regulations.  Even
though it does not meet the flammable or corrosive criteria of other
formaldehyde solutions, the DOT considers it to be an environmental hazard
and must be shipped as a Class 9 hazard when going by air.

The transport regulations for tissue and other human samples (blood, urine
etc.) are changing and the packaging requirements are changing with them.
You can bone up on some of the coming changes at the DOT's website at

In addition, the freight carriers are beginning to impose their own
restrictions on how samples are packaged and shipped.  FedEx and Airborne
(soon) will be requiring three part packaging - two inner packagings and one
outer box.  UPS feels that if labs use Universal Precautions when they
handle samples that UPS employees should have the same protection.  So UPS
requires that you use packaging certified for shipping an infectious
substance whenever you send a "diagnostic" sample.  Also, OSHA is starting
to crack down on freight companies who do not provide protection for their
employees from "leaking" packages of blood, sera, urine and reagents.  So
the freight companies are imposing stricter requirements on labs.

This is a topic that everyone needs to spend some time researching.  The
international regulations (IATA) are becoming the standard for all labs
regarding the transport of all types of samples.


Linda E. Durbin
EXAKT Technologies, Inc.
7416 N. Broadway Ext., Ste. E
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
Phone:  800.866.7172
Fax:  405.848.7701

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: valerie degroff <>; ""
Date: Friday, March 26, 1999 8:05 AM
Subject: reply-transport of tissues


We often recieve tissue from other institutions (many from overseas).  In
short my SOP calls for the following:

Tissues NO thicker than 3 mm

10% NBF fixation 24-48 hours

Transfer tissues to phosphate buffer pH 7.4 in screw top vials

Put vials in plastic zip lock bags put the bags in a box with LOTS of
Styrofoam peanuts and ship

Do not send via US mail!  They have had a tendency to break things 9 out of
10 times.   We now use FedEx, they only mess up 1 out of a 100~!

-- Begin original message --
> We need to transport formalin fixed rat prostate tissue (via the mail)
> for processing and embedding in our research lab.  Can anyone suggest
> the best methods or solutions to use for the transport of these valuable
> specimens?
> Thanks!
> Valerie Degroff
> Ohio State University

-- End original message --

best regards,
Robert Schoonhoven
Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis
Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
office 919-966-6343
   Lab 919-966-6140
   Fax 919-966-6123

**Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress ...
But I repeat myself.-Mark Twain**

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>