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Old 04-09-2018, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,257 posts, read 8,454,389 times
Reputation: 3690

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Quick question: I ordered a MyHeritage DNA testing kit for the first time. Long story short, it was an older relative so the cheek swap collection method was much easier for them than the spit vial.

I am reading on-line that you can't send the vials of back through regular mail, it must be taken to the post office. I just want to double check with the folks here to make sure that is true before I trudge down there.

Thanks!

Oh, and I live in the US, since it seems the shipping method varies by country.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains
634 posts, read 536,922 times
Reputation: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Quick question: I ordered a MyHeritage DNA testing kit for the first time. Long story short, it was an older relative so the cheek swap collection method was much easier for them than the spit vial.

I am reading on-line that you can't send the vials of back through regular mail, it must be taken to the post office. I just want to double check with the folks here to make sure that is true before I trudge down there.

Thanks!

Oh, and I live in the US, since it seems the shipping method varies by country.
Not sure about any new regulation. But I used to work for a large courier company, just like Fedex or UPS, and body fluids are considered to be Biohazard, the same goes with blood.
They require special handling and you need to notify the Post Office that you are shipping this kind of material.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,257 posts, read 8,454,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarknation View Post
Not sure about any new regulation. But I used to work for a large courier company, just like Fedex or UPS, and body fluids are considered to be Biohazard, the same goes with blood.
They require special handling and you need to notify the Post Office that you are shipping this kind of material.
I only familiar with Ancestry.com, which includes a pre-paid postage box that you simply stick the spit vial in, and put in the regular mail. I've never had a problem with the package getting there.

MyHeritage simply says "ship at your own expense" and doesn't give any further details. I went on-line to find out how many stamps to use, only to find complaints that using regular mail didn't work, the package was returned and had to be treated like a big parcel and individually weighted and post-marked.

This is a pretty important sample, so I may go that route anyway if there is any doubt regular mail would work, but I want to check with some real people first. You can't always assume the horror stories you read on the internet are the experience of the average customer (says the guy asking for advice on the internet )
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,917 posts, read 4,418,922 times
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I've had both cheek swab and vials of saliva picked up by my mail carrier. No problem.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains
634 posts, read 536,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
I only familiar with Ancestry.com, which includes a pre-paid postage box that you simply stick the spit vial in, and put in the regular mail. I've never had a problem with the package getting there.
Yes, those packages are pre-approved by the Post Office.
Ancestry.Com already did all the paperwork for you.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,136 posts, read 30,034,331 times
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If spit is considered a biohazard, what happens to all of those envelopes sealed with it?
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
47,242 posts, read 45,572,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
I am reading on-line that you can't send the vials of back through regular mail, it must be taken to the post office.
It's true. They don't provide prepaid postage, so you have to take it to the post office to have it weighed like a parcel, not a letter.

It's the biggest customer complaint about them compared to Ancestry, which provides a prepaid box.

It has nothing to do with it being a "biohazard." They just can't afford the postage like Ancestry
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,257 posts, read 8,454,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
It's true. They don't provide prepaid postage, so you have to take it to the post office to have it weighed like a parcel, not a letter.

It's the biggest customer complaint about them compared to Ancestry, which provides a prepaid box.

It has nothing to do with it being a "biohazard." They just can't afford the postage like Ancestry
Thanks everyone, I will take it to the post office tomorrow.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains
634 posts, read 536,922 times
Reputation: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
If spit is considered a biohazard, what happens to all of those envelopes sealed with it?
yes, it is a biohazard:

WHAT ARE SOME BIOHAZARD EXAMPLES?
Human blood and blood products. This includes items that have been contaminated with blood and other body fluids or tissues that contain visible blood.
Animal waste. Animal carcasses and body parts, or any bedding material used by animals that are known to be infected with pathogenic organisms.
Human body fluids. Semen, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, vaginal secretions, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva, and peritoneal fluid.
Microbiological wastes. Common in laboratory settings, examples of microbiological wastes include specimen cultures, disposable culture dishes, discarded viruses, and devices used to transfer or mix cultures.
Pathological waste. Unfixed human tissue (excluding skin), waste biopsy materials, and anatomical parts from medical procedures or autopsies.
Sharps waste. Needles, glass slides and cover slips, scalpels, and IV tubing that has the needle attached.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:18 AM
 
9,431 posts, read 11,362,243 times
Reputation: 10247
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Quick question: I ordered a MyHeritage DNA testing kit for the first time. Long story short, it was an older relative so the cheek swap collection method was much easier for them than the spit vial.

I am reading on-line that you can't send the vials of back through regular mail, it must be taken to the post office. I just want to double check with the folks here to make sure that is true before I trudge down there.

Thanks!

Oh, and I live in the US, since it seems the shipping method varies by country.
Huh. My DNA test was a spit vial (not MyHeritage) that I had to place in a plastic specimen bag and sealed, then placed that bag into a return box and I dropped it in a local mail box, but not at the post office. Got an email that the company received it.
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