Procedures for Using Biological Materials

Standard Laboratory Practices for BSL-2 Laboratories

BSL-2 is assigned to work with infectious agents and materials that cause disease in humans with a varying degree of severity and are a moderate hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment. Personnel may be required to receive vaccinations before beginning work and provide evidence of both vaccinations and immunity (Ab response to the vaccine as evident from serological assay) for HBV.  

The following list provides standard laboratory practices to be implemented in BSL-2 laboratories: 

  •  Follow all of the standard practices for BSL-1 laboratories. 
  • Follow universal precautions for all work involving materials of human origin. 
  • Make sure that the laboratory entrance is properly posted (and that access is restricted to trained individuals who have received proper immunizations and medical consultation before beginning work in the laboratory. 
  • Label equipment, storage areas, and usage areas where BSL-2 materials are used or stored  
  • Perform all procedures that generate aerosols or have the potential to splash or splatter in a bio-safety cabinet  
  • Biological safety cabinets, to be used whenever: 
    • infectious materials are handled; such materials may be centrifuged in the open 
    • laboratory if sealed centrifuge safety cups are used and if they are loaded and unloaded in a biological safety cabinet 
    • there is an increased risk of airborne infection 
  • Procedures with a high potential for producing aerosols are used; these may include centrifugation, grinding, blending, vigorous shaking or mixing, sonic disruption, opening of containers of infectious materials whose internal pressure may be different from the ambient pressure, intranasal inoculation of animals, and harvesting of infectious tissues from animals and eggs. 
  • Follow safety guidelines provided below for the use of pipettes, needles, and syringes with bio-hazardous materials. 
  • Screw-capped tubes and bottles. 
  • Autoclaves or other appropriate means to decontaminate infectious materials. 
  • Plastic disposable Pasteur pipettes, whenever available, to avoid glass. 
  • Use an appropriate disinfectant to decontaminate work surfaces, equipment, bio-safety cabinets, instruments, and glassware after each use and immediately after a spill. 
  • Maintain biological spill supplies within the laboratory. 
  • Report spills, accidents, narrowly avoided accidents and mishaps, and disease symptoms that may be related to laboratory acquired infection to the safety officer. 
  • Dispose of all BSL-2 waste according to waste handling procedures. 
  • Follow further laboratory measures delineated in the Laboratory Safety Manual for work concerning chemicals