Exempt Animal Specimen Box


  • Open the box and remove the EXAKT-PAK® Packet, biopsy jars, and the UPS overpack and billable stamp if supplied.
  • Take out the contents of the EXAKT-PAK® Packet:
    • 1 – Biohazard Bag without absorbent sheets
    • 1 – Biohazard Bag with 2 absorbent sheets inside
    • 1 – 6” x 9” piece of Bubble Wrap
    • 1 – 1” x 3” long piece of tape


  1. Place specimens and formalin solution in biopsy jars and reinforce the seal with Parafilm or sealing tape.
  2. Use the 6” x 9” piece of bubble wrap to wrap both sealed biopsy jars.
  3. Use the piece of 1” x 3” tape to secure the wrapped jars inside the bubble wrap.
  4. Place the wrapped jars into the biohazard bag without the absorbent sheets.
  5. Bleed as much air out of the filled biohazard bag as possible. Pull off the white strip at the bag opening and seal the bag shut. The sealing instructions are printed on the bag.
  6. Place this filled biohazard bag into the second biohazard bag having the 2 absorbent sheets inside.
  7. Bleed as much air out of the biohazard bag and seal the bag closed, just as in Step #4. Repeat steps 1-6 if you have purchased a box that accommodates 4 biopsy jars.
  8. Place the double-bagged specimens into the box and close the top box flap.
  9. If you are using the U.S. Postal Service, the box is ready to be picked up or dropped off. If you purchased the UPS option, insert the box into the UPS overpack and place the shipping label from the billable stamp on the overpack. Retain your half of the stamp as it includes your UPS tracking number. Space is provided on that receipt for you to make notes for your records if you wish.
  10. Give your package to any UPS driver making a delivery or already scheduled pick-up. You can actually give it to any driver—next door, across the street, anywhere! You can also drop it off at any UPS location. Search for the site closest to you here: https://www.ups.com/dropoff. We recommend using a staffed facility rather than a drop-box. You may also schedule a pick up by calling UPS at 800.823.7459. There is no charge to MSU VDL clients for scheduled pick-up. To schedule your pick-up:
  • Provide shipper number 3V769X. If prompted, provide zip code 48910.
  • Stay on the line for the Preferred Customer Team. When your call is answered, state that:
    • You are returning a shipment to the MSU VDL and would like to schedule a pick-up from an alternate location.
    • You have air shipping documents and the tracking number.
    • The MSU VDL will be paying for the pick-up fees.
  • Provide additional information requested, such as package weight and pick-up information (address, contact) for your package as well as the time it will be ready. Same day pick-up times vary by location—it’s best to plan ahead and call early.

Note: Fixation during the winter months

The dilute concentration of formalin suggested for fixation of specimens (10% neutral buffered formalin) is subject to freezing at very low temperatures. When submitting fixed tissue through the mail during the winter months, add a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to the formalin specimen container [1 part alcohol to 10 parts formalin] as this will help prevent freezing and thawing damage to the tissue specimen.