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Laboratory Biosafety Level Criteria
Table1: Summary of  Recommended Biosafety  Levels for Infectious Agents
Table1a: Summary of Vertebrate Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSL)
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Biosafety Cabinets (BSC's)
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Biosafety Level 1

Biosafety Level 1 is suitable for work involving well-characterized agents not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment.
The laboratory is not necessarily separated from the general traffic patterns in the building.  Work is generally conducted on open bench tops using standard microbiological practices.  Special containment equipment or facility design is neither required nor generally used.  Laboratory personnel have specific training in the procedures conducted in the laboratory and are supervised by a scientist with general training in microbiology or a related science.

The following standard and special practices, safety equipment and facilities apply to agents assigned to Biosafety Level 1:

A. Standard Microbiological Practices
  1. Access to the laboratory is limited or restricted at the discretion of the laboratory director when experiments or work with cultures and specimens are in progress.

  2. Persons wash their hands after they handle viable materials, after removing gloves, and before leaving the laboratory.

  3. Eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics, and storing food for human use are not permitted in the work areas.   Persons who wear contact lenses in laboratories should also wear goggles or a face shield.   Food is stored outside the work area in cabinets or refrigerators designated and used for this purpose only.

  4. Mouth pipetting is prohibited; mechanical pipetting devices are used.

  5. Policies for the safe handling of sharps are instituted.

  6. All procedures are performed carefully to minimize the creation of splashes or aerosols.

  7. Work surfaces are decontaminated at least once a day and after any spill of viable material.

  8. All cultures, stocks, and other regulated wastes are decontaminated before disposal by an approved decontamination method such as autoclaving.
    Materials to be decontaminated outside of the immediate laboratory are to be placed in a durable, leak proof container and closed for transport from the laboratory.   Materials to be decontaminated outside of the immediate laboratory are packaged in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations before removal from the facility.

  9. A biohazard sign must be posted at the entrance to the laboratory whenever infectious agents are present.  The sign must include the name of the agent(s) in use and the name and phone number of the investigator.

  10. An insect and rodent control program is in effect (see Appendix G).

B. Special Practices

C. Safety Equipment (Primary Barriers)

  1. Special containment devices or equipment such as a biological safety cabinet are generally not required for manipulations of a gents assigned to Biosafety Level 1.

  2. It is recommended that laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms be worn to prevent contamination or soiling of street clothes.

  3. Gloves should be worn if the skin on the hands is broken or if a rash is present. Alternatives to powdered latex gloves should be available.

  4. Protective eye wear should be worn for conduct of procedures in which splashes of microorganisms or other hazardous materials is anticipated.

D. Laboratory Facilities (Secondary Barriers)

  1. Laboratories should have doors for access control.

  2. Each laboratory contains a sink for hand washing.

  3. The laboratory is designed so that it can be easily cleaned.   Carpets and rugs in laboratories are not appropriate.

  4. Bench tops are impervious to water and are resistant to moderate heat and the organic solvents, acids, alkalies, and chemicals used to decontaminate the work surface and equipment.

  5. Laboratory furniture is capable of supporting anticipated loading and uses. Spaces between benches, cabinets, and equipment are accessible for cleaning.

  6. If the laboratory has windows that open to the exterior, they are fitted with fly screens.

    BSL2 BSL3 BSL1

Reproduced from "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, BMBL 4th Edition" with permission from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
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