[Taxacom] Sending museum alcohol specimens

Sergio Vargas sevragorgia at gmail.com
Sat Jan 30 12:24:30 CST 2010


Hi,

many shipping companies refuse to handle Ethanol preserved specimens
because of IATA regulations and custom clearance time. You need to be
careful, one colleague of mine lost a complete set of sea anemones
that were destroyed without asking in the US.

What you can do is: send the speciemens "dry" only with a piece of
cotton soaked in Ethanol 95%. It should be ok even for DNA specially
if the specimens were properly fixed.

The other way is to send the specimens in alcohol less than 24% which
not longer a Dangerous good. This can be tricky for DNA and I wouldn't
do it, you are basically adding water to your sample.

If you are doing any of the above include some kind of letter were you
make clear that the vials MUST remain sealed!!!!! in the first case
the atmosphere in the vial is ethanol saturated so there is no
problems. Seal the vial with parafilm and include the letter. It
should ok.

also just as a precaution, in the letter include your contact details
and ask not to dispose the material under any circumstance... at least
make them call you.

hope it helps.

sergio




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