Warning! Do not ship samples that contain alcohol by air carrier. Send by ground transport only.
Samples preserved in alcohol are considered to be hazardous and flammable material by federal regulation. To avoid the hazardous or flammable designation when shipping samples to our lab, we recommend the following procedure.
- Use only leak-proof jars such as those made by Nalgene. See Containers for suggestions.
- Allow preserved samples to “marinate” in the alcohol preservative for five days.
- Just prior to shipping, decant off most of the preservative, leaving only enough to cover the top of the sediment. This eliminates most of the flammable material and also much of the weight. A tea strainer and squirt bottle of alcohol can be used to catch and return any invertebrates that float off during decanting (see photo). Samples will be topped off with additional fresh alcohol upon arrival at our laboratory.
- Secure bottle caps firmly so they do not vibrate loose during transport.
- Place each sample bottle into its own zip-lock bag, purge the air, and seal the bag (see photo). This is an added layer of protection in case the jar leaks. Any leakage will be contained in the zip-lock bag.
- Line a sturdy cardboard box or plastic cooler with a plastic garbage bag to add another level of protection from leakage. Place the sample bottles inside and seal the garbage bag.
- Pad the samples with bubble wrap or crumpled newspaper inside the shipping box or cooler. Please do not use styrofoam.
- If you enclose documents with the samples, seal them in a large zip-lock bag. Place them on top of the samples, so they are easily found when the package is opened.
- Seal and secure the box well with sufficient strapping tape.
- UPS or FEDEX are preferred carriers. They handle packages gently and will deliver samples to the door of our lab
- Send by ground transport only.
- Do not mark the box or cooler as containing alcohol.
- Do not request the carrier obtain a signature from our lab.
- UPS will charge more for shipping plastic coolers than cardboard boxes. You may want to package your shipping cooler inside a cardboard box to save on shipping costs.
- FEDEX does not charge extra for shipping coolers.
- Send us an e-mail stating you are sending us your samples. We will notify you by e-mail when they arrive at our lab.
- Ship samples to:
Aquatic Biology Associates, Inc.
3490 NW Deer Run Street
Corvallis, OR 97330