HAZMAT - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness

If you need information on collecting clinical samples in a Chemical or Radiological Emergency situation, see:
Infectious Disease Laboratory Emergency Information

If you need information on testing a suspicious substance, see below:

Information for First Responders and Public Safety Personnel during a Suspicious Substance Event

On this page:
Suspicious Substances
Delivering Unknown Substances to MDH
Contact Information and Directions to MDH

Suspicious Substance Exposure Incident

Suspicious Substances
The information and linked documents provided at this site are intended to promote an awareness of the laboratory as a resource for first responders, as well as provide important information needed to maintain and enhance our cooperative interactions. Your hard work and cooperation is vital in an emergency response, and we appreciate our ability to partner with you to characterize unknown hazardous materials.

    Delivering Unknown Substance Samples to MDH
    Unknown substance samples delivered to MDH must undergo a risk assessment before being accepted. The risk assessment must take into account whether or not individuals have been exposed to the substance, if any one is experiencing symptoms and what the field screening results indicate. Based on this risk assessment the laboratory will decide whether or not they will accept the sample.

    Suspicious samples that are collected for analysis by the Public Health Laboratory may result in litigation. It is very important therefore to begin Chain-of-Custody documentation when the sample is collected. If you do not have an internal Chain-of-Custody form you may use the
    MDH Emergency Sample Information Form (PDF:49KB/2pages)

    In addition to completing a Chain-of-Custody form it is requested that all samples be screened for explosives before being delivered. Before accepting a sample the laboratory will ask the caller for the results of any field screening as well as any other information about the incident that is available.

Contact Information and Directions to MDH


Updated Wednesday, 26-Oct-2016 10:33:23 CDT