Collecting Specimens of Hazardous Materials
Unknown chemical and radiological exposure event specimen collection procedures
If a group of people develops symptoms from an unknown chemical or radiological exposure event, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), may be able to help identify the chemical. We can analyze blood and urine samples from the exposed individuals for a panel of toxic industrial compounds, chemical warfare agents and radioactive isotopes.
It is imperative that specimens be collected from exposed individuals within hours of the exposure event. The following documents explain the necessary steps to properly collect and ship specimens to the laboratory. It may be useful to print each of these documents.
- Collection, Packaging and Shipping Instructions, Summary Document (PDF): last updated 6-9-11
- Exposure Specimen Blood Specimen Chain-of-Custody Form (PDF): last updated 6-9-11
- Exposure Specimen Urine Specimen Chain-of-Custody Form (PDF): last updated 6-9-11
Contact information and directions to MDH
General Information 651-201-5200
CT On-Call Phone 612-282-3750
Hazardous Materials Exposure Guide (PDF): This step-by-step medical response guide was a developed through a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Poison Control System. It contains information for treating individuals that may have been exposed to toxic industrial chemicals and provides sample collection information for samples being shipped to MDH.
Chemical Terrorism Poster (PDF) was developed to remind first responders and health care professionals of some of the dangers associated with industrial chemicals. It highlights some of the hazard classes of concern, names representative chemicals, and lists indicative lab results.
CDC’s General Information on Chemical Emergencies is a great resource for first responders, health care professionals and members of the general public who are interested in chemical preparedness information.
Guidance on Initial Responses to a Suspicious Letter/Container with a Potential Biological Threat (PDF) is an FBI – DHS – HHS/CDC Coordinated Document about responding to suspicious packages.