Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Transportation of diagnostic specimens

Introduction

  • International guidelines for the transport of infectious substances have been issued by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and endorsed by the World Health Organization, the Universal Postal Union, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Air Transport Association.
  • These guidelines serve to protect the health of postal, airline and other personnel involved in the transport of infectious substances, through the refusal to carry certain infectious material and the insistence on the use of approved packaging for other material.
  • To date there have been no recorded cases of illness resulting from the release of specimens during transport.

Definitions

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Packaging

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Air mail

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Refrigerants

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Transport

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Further Reading

Publications

Other sources of information

  • Health and Safety Executive (1998) The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994. Approved list of Biological Agents, 3rd edn (further information at http://www.open.gov.uk/hse/hthdir/agents).
  • World Health Organization (1997) Guidelines for the safe transport of infectious substances and diagnostic specimens (full document can be downloaded from http://www.who.int/emc).
  • World Health Organization (1993) Emergency safety measures in transport-associated accidents. In: Laboratory Biosafety Manual. pp 52-54. 2nd edn.

Further information in the UK

  • Royal Mail Customer Service Centre. Tel: +44 (0)345 740740; Fax: +44 (0)1206 784406.

Packaging suppliers

  • Air Sea Containers Ltd, 318 New Chester Road, Birkenhead L42 1LE, UK. Tel: +44 (0)151 645 0636; Fax: +44 (0)151 644 9268; Contact: Randall Grundy.
  • CarePack Holland, Ophelialaan 45, PO Box 16, NL-1430 Aalsmeet, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 297 344827; Fax: +31 297 345169; Contact: Lambert Dekkers; Email:carepack@globalxs.nl.
  • Dangerous Goods International, 17/1 Building 521, Heathrow World Cargo Centre, Middlesex TW6 3JL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)181 759 0985; Fax: +44 (0)181 759 0986; Contact: Ron Robinson.
  • Dangerous Goods Partnership, Unit 2, Fullwood Close, Aldermans Green Industrial Estate, Coventry CV1 2SS, UK. Tel: 0800 783 5796; Fax: +44 (0)1203 602 003; Contact: David Walsh; Email:trident@indigo.ie.
  • Mega-Pak Ltd, Unit 12, Banbury Avenue, Slough Trading Estate, Slough SL1 4LH, UK. Tel: 0800 328 3378; Fax: 0800 328 3379; Contact: Keith Tomlin;http://www.mega-pak.com/.


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