FDA has issued a letter to clinical laboratory staff and healthcare providers as a reminder that some transport media and SARS-CoV-2 testing platforms are not compatible. Inappropriate use may incur a risk of exposure to harmful cyanide gas, a byproduct of a reaction between guanidine thiocyanate and similar chemicals used in certain transport media and bleach (sodium hypochlorite) used in certain SARS-CoV2 testing platforms or laboratory processes.

The letter includes important information about using transport media that are compatible with SARS-CoV-2 testing platforms, including:

  • Details on which testing platforms are not compatible with PrimeStore MTM, Zymo DNA/RNA Shield, Spectrum Solutions saliva collection device, and any other transport media that contain guanidine thiocyanate and similar chemicals due to this hazardous chemical reaction.
  • Recommendations for laboratory staff.
  • Instructions for reporting problems with a device.

Read more from FDA.