Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness
If you need information on testing a suspicious substance, see:
Information for First Responders and Public Safety Personnel during a Suspicious Substance Event
If you are collecting clinical samples in a Chemical or Radiological Emergency situation, see below:
Infectious Disease Laboratory Emergency Information
Unknown Chemical and Radiological Exposure Event Specimen Collection Procedures
In the event that 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 assist in identifying the symptom causing chemical. Collection of blood and urine samples from the exposed individuals can be analyzed 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.
New Version 6-9-11
Collection, Packaging and Shipping Instructions, Summary Document (PDF)
- New Version 6-9-11
Exposure Specimen Blood Specimen Chain-of-Custody Form (PDF)
Exposure Specimen Urine Specimen Chain-of-Custody Form (PDF)
Contact Information and Directions to MDHContact Information and Directions to MDH
Hazardous Materials Exposure Guide – A Step-by-Step Medical Response Guide
This guide was a developed through a collaboration between MDH and the Minnesota Poison Control Center. This guide 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.
MDH Chemical Terrorism Poster
This poster was developed to remind first responders and healthcare 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 General Information on Chemical Emergencies This site is a great resource for first responders, healthcare professionals and the general public interested in chemical preparedness information.
Guidance on Initial Responses to a Suspicious Letter/Container with a Potential Biological Threat (PDF)