The Laboratory Preparedness, Education and Safety (LPES) unit of the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL) provides regional trainings regarding the proper packaging and shipping of Division 6.2 Infectious Substances as well as shipments requiring the use of dry ice.

The United States Government and international transport agencies regulate division 6.2 materials such as cultures and patient specimens containing infectious materials while in commerce. The Department of Transportation (DOT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Public Health Service, designated as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have all published documents regarding packaging and shipping of infectious agents. Commercial carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL have additional requirements. These regulations have been created to ensure safe handling and transport of such materials.  Strict adherence to these regulations is imperative to remain in compliance and to avoid fines against your facility. The shipper is always responsible for the shipment until it reaches its final destination.

If you and your facility are involved in the packaging and shipping of biological specimens, you should give serious consideration to attending. Please keep in mind that the individuals chosen to attend this program will be responsible for training the rest of your facility. DOT regulations state those individuals handling hazardous materials must be trained initially upon hire (within 90 days) and at least every three years as a refresher, or when regulations change.  Those who ship hazardous materials by air are required to be trained initially upon hire (within 90 days) and at least every two years as a refresher, or when regulations change.

Program Objectives:

  • Outline the responsibilities of the shipper regarding training, record keeping and handling of specimens
  • Discuss the regulations of agencies with jurisdiction over aspects of packaging and shipping Division 6.2 infectious substances and dry ice
  • Discuss the correct procedure for packaging a variety of biological specimens including package selection, labeling and paperwork completion
  • Discuss the correct procedure for packaging and shipping urine and blood specimens to be tested for chemical agents
  • List resources useful for keeping well informed of regulatory changes related to packaging and shipping

Upon completion of this program, the participant will be able to train current and new employees in their facility who will be directly involved in the process of packaging and shipping biological specimens.

Individuals interested in attending one of these courses should click on the registration form link below. Registration Form

For questions contact:
Laboratory Preparedness, Education and Safety (LPES) Team
Missouri State Public Health Laboratory
101 North Chestnut Street 
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: 573-522-1444 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)
Fax: 573-526-7368 

Related Links

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Department of Transportation:
eCFR 49 Shipping Regulations
Division 6.2 Infectious Substances (§173.134)
Category A Infectious Substances (§173.196)
Category B Infectious Substances (§173.199)
Dry Ice (§173.217)
DOT HAZMAT Questions: 
Info-Line: 1-800-467-4922

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

International Air Transport Association:
For IATA Resources including Downloadable Shipper’s declaration forms, checklists and any addendums to the most current edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations manual 
IATA Dangerous Goods Information

United Parcel Service (UPS)

UPS Hazardous Materials Resources: 
Biological Substance, Category B (UPS)
UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center 1-800-554-9964

United States Postal Service

United States Postal Service:
Domestic Mail Manual (See section 10.17) 
Per USPS Regulation, 39CFR Part 111, (DMM 601 Mailability Section 10.17.3 (a)(c)(e), materials known to contain or suspected of containing a Category A infectious substance, ARE NOT MAILABLE.

Federal Express

FedEx Dangerous Goods Shipping Regulations 
Inquiries about FedEx Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials call the Hotline at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “dangerous goods”).

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Microbiology
Sentinel Level Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Guidelines

Sentinel Laboratory Guidelines for Suspected Agents of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Packing and Shipping Infectious Substances)