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Infectious Substance Category A

CHEMTREC® Informational Requirements for Hazardous Waste or Lab Shipments

Shipper Name:  Cornell University

CHEMTREC® Customer Number: 5681

Date: 9/7/2012

1. What is the name of the specimen or waste being shipped?

UN 2814, Infectious Substance, Affecting Humans, Category A

UN 2900, Infectious Substance, Affecting Animals, Category A

2. What is the item? Composition?

All shipments of Infectious Substance, Affecting Humans or Animals, Category A - are shipped according to Packing Instruction 620. Our labs use an insulated shipping box, made by Saf-T-Supply, the category A shipping system.  This is a square cardboard box with a styrofoam insert. The secondary container inside is a plastic seal bag or a screw-top cylinder. The primary containers inside the cylinder are cultures of organisms. Each culture is usually on agar, in a primary container of glass (that is, an agar slant). Very rarely, we may need to send a tube of liquid culture as the primary container. In all cases there is always enough absorbent material in the secondary container, capable of absorbing all liquid.

The materials we send from the category A group are normally:

  • E.coli
  • Feline Corona Virus
  • Strep Equine
  • Staph Aureus                                               
  • Staph Pseud                                                  
  • Mycobacterium
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae
  • Beta Strep
  • Mann. Huemolytica
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
  • Escheria Coli
  • Salmonella
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus
  • Canine Coronavirus
  • Udorn Virus

* but may include others as needed based on required testing or research

3. What protective steps should be taken during handling?

Protective steps for personnel should include securing area to prevent spreading of material, also prevent inhalation, ingestion or contact.  For clean-up of spills, wear a mask (recommend NIOSH approved N95 particulate respiratory type), eye protection (recommend safety goggles), gloves (recommend nitrile), and protective gown (basically something to put over street clothes to protect them from contamination). Do not step in any spill from the shipment (recommend shoe covers). If contact with spilled material occurs, decontaminate or dispose of protective equipment.

4. How do we decontaminate (with what)?

Decontamination with sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) is effective in a 1:10 dilution (ex. 1.5 cups of bleach to 1 gallon of water). Cover the spill with paper toweling, and generously soak the toweling with the disinfectant. Leave soaked for at least one half hour. Clothing that has been contaminated should be disposed of with spill material.

5. How do we clean up?

Wearing protective clothing (see #3), pick up the items carefully starting from the outside and work towards the center of the spill. Use a dustpan or cardboard in the case of any broken glass - avoid handling any broken glass directly even with gloved hands.  If there is obvious broken glass or other sharp items, it should go in a rigid leak-proof container, and then can go into the plastic bags. Place all items and the paper towels in a double set of leak-proof plastic bags, preferably with a biohazard label on them.

6. How do we dispose of the waste?

The safest thing would be to have the material disposed of as bio-hazardous waste.

7. What kind of lab could handle it?

Most hospital clinical labs or public health lab could do so, especially if they have Bio-safety level 2 capability. These facilities also have set-ups for disposing of bio-hazardous waste.

8. What kind of container should the waste be put in?

Double set of leak-proof plastic bags, with a biohazard label on them, or if sharp objects are involved (see #5) a rigid, leak-proof pail or bucket with a biohazard label in it.

9. If other packages are contaminated as a result of the incident, what should be done with them?

Items with impervious surfaces decontaminate the exterior with bleach solution. Packages that have absorbed spill material must be bagged and disposed of according to package hazard labels and biohazard. This most likely will be with a hazardous waste vendor.