Long Term Storage

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Speed is essential when working in a subzero environment. When the door is open, the super chilled air rapidly spills out to be replaced by warm air. A freezer in good working order can re-stabilize its interior temperature within 20-30 minutes of a brief door opening. If the temperature drops below the freezer's set point, its alarm should be triggered. If working in an alarmed freezer for more than a few minutes take the necessary steps to notify any concerned parties that the alarm in this case is false. When stocking a freezer, be careful about densely packed items. It can take at least 24 hours for a large quantity of newly housed specimens to reach -80.

The day will come when the research project that collected the specimens is no longer funded. Though the cost of maintaining specimens in a freezer may be small, there are ongoing costs associated with maintaining the freezer, the alarm system, etc. There may be consent issues regarding disposal of the specimens after a certain period. There may also be some repositories that would be interested in having the specimens. The project researchers should consider possible long-term arrangements while there are project staff to help with the transition and before funding ends.

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