Standard Practices for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biothreat Agents from Nonporous Surfaces
|Publication Date:||1 October 2010|
These practices address collection of visible powders that are suspected biothreat agents from solid nonporous surfaces using a bulk collection method, using a dry swab and laminated card, followed by a swab sampling method using a sterile moistened swab. Bulk powder samples are collected and packaged in a manner that permits the maximum amount of the sample to be safely transported to a reference laboratory within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national Laboratory Response Network (LRN)2 for confirmatory identification and safe storage. If the source of the powder is a letter or small package, that item is also packaged in a manner that permits it to be safely transported to an LRN reference laboratory. A sterile moistened swab may be used to collect residual powder and may be used to conduct on-site biological assessments for the purpose of testing for biothreat agents.
These practices are performed in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of a risk assessment including hazard assessment and threat evaluation as recommended and clarified in Guide E2770. The decision to implement these practices and collect a public safety sample will be made by members of the response community of the jurisdiction assuming responsibility through coordination with the FBI and the receiving LRN reference laboratory.
Sample Collection Method A covers the bulk collection and packaging of suspicious visible powders that are suspected biothreat agents from solid nonporous surfaces. All samples suspected to be biothreat agents on nonporous surfaces should be collected according to Sample Collection MethodAand sent to a LRN reference laboratory for confirmatory testing.
Sample Collection Method B covers swab sampling of residual suspicious powders that are suspected biothreat agents from solid nonporous surfaces. Swab samples can be used for on-site biological assessment; however results from on-site biological assessments are not definitive; confirmatory testing by the LRN reference laboratory is necessary to make public health decisions.
These practices incorporate reference guidance for packaging and transport of suspicious visible powders to comply with all appropriate federal regulations regarding biosafety and biosecurity.
These practices should only be used to collect visible samples that are suspected biothreat agents and have been field screened according to reference guidance for explosive hazard, radiological hazard, and other acute chemical hazards.
The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2 The CDC Laboratory Response Network is the network responsible for handling clinical specimens and environmental samples containing suspected biothreat agents.