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DOT Issues Guidance on Transportation of Monkeypox Samples/Waste

Posted on 3/25/2024 by Lion Technology Inc.

US DOT PHMSA is sharing new advice from the CDC regarding diagnostic samples and clinical waste containing Monkeypox virus (MPXV) in Clade I or II. 

CDC advises that most MPXV materials, including patient diagnostic samples and clinical waste, should be classified for transportation as Category B infectious substances. As such, clinical waste containing MPXV materials of either clade may be transported as “UN3291, Regulated medical waste, n.o.s., 6.2,” and patient diagnostic samples may be transported as “UN3373, Biological substance, Category B, 6.2.”

MPXV Clade I viral cultures are still most appropriately classified as Category A infectious substances—viral cultures contain higher concentrations of and present a greater risk of infection upon exposure.

See the Safety Advisory Notice here.

Recently, the CDC alerted PHMSA to an outbreak of Mpox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) attributable to Clade I MPXV. Previous recommendations for classifying and managing materials containing or contaminated with MPXV have differed primarily based on the clade of the virus (e.g., Clade I, Clade II).

PHMSA's Regulatory Authority

PHMSA sets and enforces the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171–180) to ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. Materials regulated by the HMR include infectious substances that are classified as Division 6.2 and are further categorized as either Category A2 or Category B3 based on the degree of likelihood that a particular form of a material can cause severe health effects as defined in 49 CFR 173.134.

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