Environmental Health & Safety
University of Rochester Requirements for Shipping Biological Materials and Dry Ice
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulate shipments containing Dangerous Goods. Dangerous Goods are defined as articles or substances capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment and are listed by regulation. Some biological materials are considered Dangerous Goods and thus are subject to these regulations.
These regulations provide mandatory procedures that must be followed when transporting Dangerous Goods. These procedures cover packaging and container labeling, and require individuals who package, label, transport, or prepare shipper’s declarations to receive periodic training. Hand-carrying biological materials when traveling (for example, in a vial in your pocket or in your luggage) is strictly prohibited. IATA and DOT regulations also cover your checked luggage, the materials you carry on, or the materials you carry in your pockets when you board an airplane. Persons who violate regulations are subject to fines and criminal prosecution.
Environmental Health and Safety has developed a Shipping Procedure, a series of Frequently Asked Questions (Shipping FAQs), and training program to assist you with shipping biological materials and with regulatory compliance. Prior to shipping biological materials, faculty, staff, and students must review the Shipping Procedure and complete the corresponding training. This procedure and training also applies to individuals who transport human or animal specimens in their own vehicle.
Several excellent resources providing additional guidance for classification, packaging, labeling, and completing the shipper’s declarations are available below. You may also call the University Biosafety Officer at x5-3014 for assistance.
Training is required initially and then every 2 years.
University faculty, staff, and students who wish to ship biological materials may now complete their training requirement through MyPath. Please follow the directions for enrolling - Shipping Biologicals Training Self Enrollment
Individuals may also choose to use a commercial vender such as SafT Pak to provide this training.
- Known Shipping Problems
- BMJ Letter regarding potential for explosions if dry ice is placed in airtight transport containers
- September 2014 - Dry Ice UN 1845 label has been updated and must be used. New label has no horizontal line separating vertical stripes (upper portion of label) from white lower portion
QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.
This page last updated 12/23/2019. Disclaimer.