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Exempt Animal or Human Specimens

​Patient specimens (containing no other hazardous materials) for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present are not subject to other shipping regulations except:

  1. The specimen must be packed in a packaging which will prevent any leakage and which is marked with the words:
    1. "Exempt Human Specimen", or
    2. “Exempt Animal Specimen”  
  2. The package must consist of three components:
    1. Leek-proof primary receptacle
    2. Leak-proof secondary packaging
      • For liquids, absorbent material sufficient to absorb the entire contents must place between the primary receptacle and the secondary packaging
      • Multiple fragile primary receptacles must be wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them
    3. Strong outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use
      • One side must be larger than 100mm x 100mm
  3. If refrigerated or frozen specimens are being shipped:
    1. If shipping with dry ice or liquid nitrogen, then those regulations need to be met
    2. If shipping with ice, ice packs or dry ice it must be placed between the secondary packaging and the  outer packaging
      • If using ice, the outer packaging must be leak-proof
      • If using dry ice, the outer package must permit the release of gas
NOTE: In determining whether a specimen has minimal likelihood that pathogens are present, an element of professional judgment is required. The judgment should be based on known medical history, symptoms, individual circumstances, and endemic local conditions.

 Diagram of Exempt Specimen Package:

Example of packing and marking for exempt human or animal specimens