Re: reply-transport of tissues -Reply

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From:Colin Henderson <>,,,
Date:Fri, 26 Mar 1999 10:27:42 -0500

Linda and Histonet:

My copy of the IATA Regs. on page 155 has
Formaldehyde solutions, flammable listed as:
Class 3
Sub Risk 8

and Formaldehyde solution "with not less than 25%
formaldehyde" listed as ....... Class 8 (corrosive).

My question and concern is that the interpretation of
"with not less than 25%" means more than 25%;
otherwise what does it mean when you take the NOT
out, ie "with less than 25%".

So as I read the Legislation 10% (4%) is NOT

What do you say?

Colin in London, Ontario, Canada

Class 8

>>> Linda E Durbin <> Friday,
March 26, 1999 >>>

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-----
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
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**

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