The decision to test a sample for agents of bioterrorism is made by the police in consultation with the local Public Health Unit. All suspicious packages presenting a bioterrorism threat are also treated as legal specimens. Since these materials may become part of a criminal trial a complete record of the chain of custody is required.
Prior to submission of any sample, contact the Public Health Ontario Laboratory (PHOL) Bioresponse Team.
Ensure collection and packaging complies with the guidelines in Suspicious Packages/Material for the Investigation of Agents of Bioterrorism: Guidelines for Submission
Each submission must be accompanied by a Public Health Requisition for Submitting Environmental Samples for Laboratory Testing. Please see the Test Requisition for Submitting Environmental Samples Form
PHOL-Toronto is located at 661 University Ave, Toronto. Suspicious packages are received through the Shipping and Receiving Dock
Packaging Material Required
Procedure for Packaging
Tape test requisition form to the outside bag – DO NOT USE STAPLES
A minimal amount of material is necessary – no more than a few grams - however there should be a visible amount of material collected. Avoid submitting other incident-related materials such as letters or envelopes.
Responsibility for Transport
Local law enforcement is responsible for arranging for specimen transport.
Test Requisition for Submitting Environmental Samples
Sample Submission Label
Attach to the back of the PHOL Test Requisition for Submitting Environmental Samples Form: