Shipping and Transporting


Individuals that ship infectious, potentially infectious, or regulated plant material with commercial carriers (i.e. FedEx, UPS, etc.) are required to have the proper training. This is mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the International Air Transport Association.

Accepted forms of training are:

  • Documented training by Risk Management Services or,
  • Any accredited Shipping Infectious Material class from the Department of Transportation.

Examples of material that falls under this requirement are:

  • human cell lines
  • pathogenic organisms
  • viral vectors
  • recombinant plants
  • recombinant DNA

Extracted DNA does not fall under these rules.

Transporting Recombinant and Biohazardous Material

Whenever recombinant and/or biohazardous material or a toxin solution, including biohazardous waste, is moved outside the lab, into public space, or into a high traffic area (such as within an open bay) it must be transported in a closed, rigid, leak-proof secondary container.

  • Secondary containers are containers such as pails, cartons, drums, dumpsters or bins for storage.
  • Secondary containers must be leak-proof and have tight-fitting covers.
  • Secondary containers must be labeled as biohazardous or recombinant.
  • The outside of the secondary container must be decontaminated before leaving the lab.
  • Reusable secondary containers must be easy to clean and must be washed and decontaminated each time they are emptied, unless they have been completely protected from contamination.
  • Toxins must be in leak proof secondary container if not inside a biosafety cabinet.

Recombinant and biohazardous material must not be transported in a personal vehicle for any reason. However, use of a University or University-sponsored vehicle is permitted.

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