Intended for healthcare professionals


Explosions may occur if dry ice is placed in airtight transport containers

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 17 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:434
  1. Sally Sharp, chief biomedical scientist (,
  2. David Cummins, consultant haematologist,
  3. Stephen Halloran, consultant chemical pathologist,
  4. Mandy Donaldson, principal clinical scientist,
  5. Lynn Turnbull, quality assurance manager
  1. Department of Haematology, Harefield Hospital, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6JH
  2. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XX
  3. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 0HS
  4. Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX

    EDITOR—Since January 1999 all infectious pathology specimens sent by post have had to be packaged according to United Nations approved packing instruction 602. 1 2 This states that the primary specimen receptacle must be placed in an airtight secondary container (figure (top)), which in turn must be placed in an outer, labelled shipping package. The postal service does not require packing instruction 602 to be applied to specimens considered non-infectious, but many laboratories apply it to all specimens sent by post, and some to specimens sent by non-postal …

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