Specimen Packaging & Shipping


Specimen Packaging & Shipping

Laboratorians, specimen processors, and other shipping personnel who package or ship infectious or other hazardous material (Shipper/Sender) are responsible for being aware of current and applicable regulations, requirements, and any updates. Shippers are responsible for correctly classifying and packaging the material(s) for the purpose of protecting the public, personnel in the transportation industry, emergency responders, as well as other laboratory or healthcare staff from accidental exposure to the contents of the packages. The responsibility to correctly package and ship infectious material is that of the sender, not the recipient or consignee.

If the laboratory is unsure how a substance should be shipped, call the NPHL office at (402) 559-9444.

Employer Responsibilities


Shipping Guides





Category A (UN 2814) Infectious Substance


All persons packing and shipping infectious materials must be trained and certified every two years in compliance with the Department of Transportation or the international Air Transport Association.

Partial list, Category A (UN2814)

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • C. botulinum toxin
  • Brucella spp
  • Burkholderia mallei
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Yersinia Pestis
  • E. coli – Shiga toxin positive (culture)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
  • Shigella dysenteriae

Ground Transportation (Lincoln/Omaha)


Fed-Ex Transportation (Outside Lincoln/Omaha area)


Category A (UN 2814) Packaging


Category B (UN 3373) Packaging


Biological Substance Category B (UN 3373)


Exempt Human Specimen


Patient specimens being tested for routine, non-infectious tests from otherwise healthy individuals are not subject to Division 6.2 DOT regulations when shipped by DOT couriers.

Exempt patient specimen for which there is no, to only a minimal likelihood that pathogens are present when shipped according to IATA and the U.S. Postal Service.

Exempt Packaging


Chemical Exposure Event – Specimen


In case of a chemical exposure event, and the laboratory or health care facility is required to collect and ship specimens, call the NPHL Emergency Pager number (402) 888-5588. You will be guided in the process.