Requirements for the Packaging and Transport of Pathology Specimens and Associated Materials 3rd Edition

4. Materials covered elsewhere in these guideline

Page last updated: 22 October 2012

Table 4.1 provides general information for materials not covered in the above matrix and tables. See other guidelines for more information about packaging and transporting these materials.

Table 4.1 Transport guides for other materials related to pathology

ContentsComments
Anti-D immunoglobulinAustralian Red Cross Blood Service controls the packaging and transportation of anti-D immunoglobulin
Cooling tower waterExempt/Category C
Not classed as a hazardous substance
Temperature control is important; the sample must be processed within 24 hours of collection
Corrosive substances, solvents/stains, etc.Refer to the material safety data sheet
Substances containing corrosive material are IATA Hazard Class 8
Flammable substances usually contain methanol or other IATA Hazard Class 3 substances
Shipment of small quantities may be possible under IATA Limited Quantities Regulations
Drinking water sampleExempt/Category C
Not classed as a hazardous substance
Temperature control is important; the sample must be processed within 24 hours of collection
Food samplesExempt/Category C
Laboratory reagentsRefer to material safety data sheet
Care should be taken with regard to temperature control and monitoring
Medical wasteBiological Substances, Category B, must be assigned to UN 3373 (unless listed in Table A1.1), as appropriate
A comprehensive guide to transport of medical waste is not within the scope of these guidelines; refer to relevant state/jurisdictional legislation
Transport of medical waste by Australia Post is prohibited.
Mercury, mercury compounds or mercury in manufactured items, such as thermometersIf it is necessary to transport mercury thermometers, they should be transported by surface transport, unless special permission is obtained
IATA Hazard Class 8 — corrosive; if properly packaged in a hard, sealed container, may be allowed as hand luggage
Prohibited by Australia Post
Post-mortem samplesKeep formalin volume to a minimum
Coronial and forensic cases are subject to ‘chain of custody’ processes — refer to state/jurisdictional legislation
Quality control samplesWhere of human or animal origin, treat as for patient specimens
Scientific instrumentsMust be decontaminated before transport
Suspected bioterrorist sampleContact state or territory government counter-terrorism/CBRN unit for details on local arrangements. The state or territory PHLN laboratory will usually be involved.
Vaccines Not classed as hazardous substances
Temperature control and monitoring are critical
For vaccines guidelines, refer to Australian Immunisation Handbook (2003)

CBRN = chemical, biological and radionuclear hazard; IATA = International Air Transport Association; UN = United Nations; PHLN = Public Health Laboratory Network