Procedures for Using Biological Materials

Safety guidelines for the use of pipettes

The following guidelines should be followed when pipetting bio-hazardous material: 

  • Never pipette by mouth.
  • When possible, use disposable plastic pipettes instead of glass.
  • Use only cotton plugged pipettes for transferring infectious or toxic material.
  • Always use a pipetting aid when pipetting infectious material.
  • Pipette bio-hazardous material in a bio-safety cabinet.
  • To catch drops or spills, place a towel or other absorbent material dampened with disinfectant on the work surface. Plastic backed bench paper is suitable for this purpose. Treat discarded bench paper or absorbent material as bio-hazardous waste.
  • To reduce the likelihood of splashes, dispense material from a pipette as close as possible to the bottom of the container, allowing the material to run down the inner wall of the container.
  • Contaminated pipettes should be disposed of in sharps containers and treated as bio-hazardous waste.
  • Reusing pipettes is discouraged, however; if it is necessary to reuse certain types of pipettes, disinfect the pipettes by placing them horizontally in a pan or tray containing enough suitable disinfectant, such as 1% sodium hypochlorite, to allow complete immersion of the pipettes.
  • After 25 minute contact time, rinse and autoclave all pipettes.