Australian Dangerous Goods Code
Code that describes the requirements and recommendations for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail.

Concentrated formalin
Common name for (usually) 40% formaldehyde gas dissolved in water.

Dangerous goods
Articles or substances that are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment.

Dry ice
Solidified carbon dioxide that changes from solid to gas at normal atmospheric conditions. The carbon dioxide gas can lead to the displacement of oxygen resulting in asphyxiation. If improperly packaged (i.e. gas cannot escape) the carbon dioxide gas will pressurise the container, potentially causing the container to explode.
The United Nations (UN) number for dry ice is UN 1845.

Dry shippers
Dry shippers are large dewar (vacuum) flasks that are designed for the safe shipment of specimens at liquid nitrogen temperatures without the risk of spilling liquid nitrogen. When prepared correctly, a dry shipper does not contain any free liquid nitrogen.

Formal saline
Formalin buffered with salt solutions, usually sodium phosphate dibasic and sodium phosphate monobasic, to give a solution with a pH of 7.0. The most common strength used in pathology is 10% neutral buffered formalin, which contains 10% concentrated formalin, or just 4% formaldehyde.
Note: 10% neutral buffered formalin is not classed as a hazardous substance.

Formaldehyde
A colourless gas with a pungent, suffocating odour at room temperature. The chemical formula for formaldehyde is CH2O and the molecular weight is 30.03 g/mol.

Formalin
A generic term that describes a solution of formaldehyde gas dissolved in water.

Genetically modified organism
An organism that has been modified by gene technology or the progeny of a genetically modified organism (GMO) that has inherited genetically modified (GM) traits.

GMO is defined in the Gene Technology Act 2000, the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 and corresponding state law.

Group F employee
An employee of a shipper of dangerous goods whose duties include packing dangerous goods, or supervising someone else whose duties include packing dangerous goods, in the course of the goods being consigned for transport on an aircraft.

Under the definition of a Group F employee, a person packs dangerous goods if he or she does any of the following in relation to the goods:

  • encloses the goods in packaging
  • marks or labels the package or consignment
  • prepares a dangerous goods transport document for the consignment.

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
A set of regulations published annually by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). These regulations are followed by all IATA member airlines worldwide.
Infectious substances Substances that are known to contain, or are reasonably expected to contain, pathogens.

Infectious substances are divided into categories A, B and C/Exempt, and are governed by various UN requirements (see Section 3 of this document for definitions of these categories).

Liquid nitrogen
An inert, colourless, odourless, non-corrosive, non-flammable, and extremely cold element, with a boiling point of –150C at atmospheric conditions.

Microbial cultures
Cultures that are the result of a process by which pathogens are intentionally propagated.

Must
Indicates that a requirement is mandatory.

Neutral buffered formalin
See Formal saline.

Outer packaging
The outer protection of a combination packaging together with absorbent materials, cushioning and any other components necessary to contain and protect the primary receptacle and secondary packaging and make it capable of withstanding the rigours of transport.

Package
The complete product of the packing operation consisting of all the packagings and their contents prepared for transport.

Packing Instructions
Instructions sourced from the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. In this document, IATA
Packing Instructions 602, 650 and 904 are relevant.

Pathogens
Micro-organisms (including bacteria, viruses, rickettsia, parasites and fungi) and other infectious or transmissible agents (such as prions) that can cause disease in humans or animals.

Patient specimens
Specimens that are collected directly from humans or animals (including, but not limited to, excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluid swabs, and body parts) that are transported for purposes such as research, diagnosis, investigations, disease treatment and prevention.

Primary receptacle
A receptacle in contact with the material (specimen) to be transported.
Requirements for Medical Pathology Services (RMPS) means the overarching document broadly outlining standards for good medical pathology practice where the primary consideration is patient welfare, and where the needs and expectations of patients, laboratory staff and referrers (both for pathology requests and inter-laboratory referrals) are safely and satisfactorily met in a timely manner.
The standard headings are set out below -
Standard 1 – Ethical Practice
Standard 2 – Governance
Standard 3 – Quality Management
Standard 4 – Personnel
Standard 5 – Facilities and Equipment
A – Premises
B – Equipment
Standard 6 – Request-Test-Report Cycle
A – Pre-Analytical
B – Analytical
C – Post-Analytical
Standard 7 –Quality Assurance

Secondary packaging
Leak-proof packaging that provides additional protection for the primary receptacle(s); it may include absorbent material.

Should
Indicates a recommendation.

Surface transport
Any form of surface transport within the public domain. This includes vehicles or packages transported by water. (Regulation of sea transport is the responsibility of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.)

UN number
A number assigned to most dangerous goods under the UN classification system. These four digits are used to identify a substance or group of substances and correspond to the proper shipping name. The prefix ‘UN’ must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.