Legionella Testing / Biosafety Training


Dr Richard W Gilpin’s Blog

Vehicle Transport of Biological Materials between Laboratories

DoT Materials of Trade exceptions, 49 CFR 173.6, are applicable


IATA regulations for Division 6.2 Category A and Category B materials apply to air transport only.

DoT Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement writes U.S. shipping regulations. US DoT PHMSA regulations apply to transport for commerce. Therefore, regulations (their designations and labeling) do not apply to transport by in-house couriers or transport by a private vehicle, if the material is transported for a non-commercial, work related purpose. Clearly the materials should be contained during transport to prevent exposure to the person transporting the materials or the environment.

Medical Laboratory Observer 34:38, 2002 had a good article on courier transport which I paraphrased (below):

Train people working with clinical trial patients and off-site health clinics as well as lab personnel transporting biological materials or specimens:

Carry all blood collection equipment and specimens/materials in a lockable container to avoid an accidental spill if the vehicle is in a collision

Have a spill kit available in the courier vehicle

Have DoT training on requirements for packaging and transporting potentially infectious specimens

Transport each patient’s specimen or biological material in a sealed or zip-locked plastic bag with an outside pocket for the laboratory requisition and place the bag in a solid plastic cooler kept out of sight

Ensure that the specimen/material container used to transport specimens/materials is clearly marked as biohazardous on the outside of the container

Have cold packs in the container for specimen/material transport during hot weather and a heated vehicle during cold weather.

Have a posted schedule at the laboratory for time that specimens/materials will be delivered

Carry a cellular phone or two-way radio in the “on” position in the vehicle when driving and when going into the patient’s home, laboratory, or other off-site location

Use a hands-free cellular phone system in the vehicle

Always wear the institution’s ID badge

Always carry the vehicle keys in hand or place them in a pocket and have a spare set hidden on the vehicle

Carry little cash and just one credit card