Packagings for Biological Substances
Biological samples of infectious substances contain pathogens by definition.
Pathogens are microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.) and other agents that can infect humans and animals. Infectious substances are classified in Class 6.2 and assigned to numbers UN 2814, UN 2900 and UN 3373, as appropriate.
They are divided into the following categories:
Category A: infectious substances which may cause permanent disability or a life-threatening or potential life-threatening disease to humans or animals. Infectious substances for humans are assigned to the number UN 2814. Infectious substances for animals are assigned to the number UN 2900.
Category B: all infectious substances that do not have the hazard requirements to be included in Category A (including diagnostic samples) and are assigned to the number UN 3373.
The packaging used for the transport of infectious substances includes three components:
A primary leak proof inner container (for example a test tube);
A secondary leak proof inner packaging (for example a larger plastic packaging);
An outer packaging sufficiently robust for its capacity, mass and intended use.
The primary container or the secondary packaging shall be capable of withstanding, without leakage, an internal pressure giving a pressure difference of at least 95kpa, at a temperature of -40° a +55°. Packagings shall be, as appropriate, UN approved for Category A and certified for Category B. If liquids are shipped, the absorbent material shall be used with an absorption capacity of 100% of the liquid shipped.
Marking and labelling
Each package must be properly labelled including:
Sender and recipient;
The UN number and the proper name of each substance inside the packaging;
Markings indicating the top of the packaging (where liquids are present);
The name and contact details of a responsible professional who can be contact for any need.
Dangerous goods must also be accompanied by a Shipper’s Declaration (air transport), Multimodal (sea transport), ADR (road transport), documents required by the legislation in which the sender declares the nature of the goods dispatched under his responsibility.