The CNSM Biohazard Control Program is based on the California Health and Safety Code Sections 117600-118360 and the CDC/NIH Guidelines for Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 5th edition (2007). The guidelines indicate the Biosafety Level (BSL) for each microbial agent; the levels range from 1-4. The Biosafety Level dictates the method of disposal, use of certain lab practices, techniques, safety equipment and facilities. BSL-1 organisms normally do not cause disease in healthy humans (e.g. Penicillium); BSL-2 agents are associated with human disease (e.g. Cryptococcus neoformans, Shigella, any human body fluid, etc.); BSL-3 agents may cause serious or possibly lethal disease, with a potential for aerosol transmission (e.g. HIV, Yellow fever virus, etc.); BSL-4 agents pose a high risk of aerosol transmitted laboratory infections and life-threatening disease (e.g. Ebola virus). Please note that Level 4 organisms are not permitted in the College, and Level 3 organisms may not be brought onto College property without prior written permission from the Dean and CNSM Safety Office personnel. The CDC/NIH Guidelines are available for review in the CNSM Safety Office (Micro 001) and are available on-line (http://www.cdc.gov/OD/OHS/biosfty/bmbl5/BMBL_5th_Edition.pdf).
The purpose of the CDC/NIH Guidelines is to protect students, employees and the general public from exposure to biohazardous materials. If you work with biohazardous materials, you should ensure that everyone in your program is trained and that the CDC/NIH Guidelines will be observed as appropriate.
The safe work practices listed below must be consistently followed to reduce the likelihood of exposure when using biohazardous agents:
Engineering controls must be used whenever appropriate; examples include biological cabinets, mechanical barriers, needle boxes, engineered sharps protection on needles etc. If a biological cabinet is required per the CDC/NIH guidelines, it must be certified according to OSHA's Title 8, CCR 5154.1(a).
Ensure that everyone concerned uses personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed to shield skin, clothing and mucous membranes from contact with infectious materials. The PPE must be appropriate and fit properly; consider:
Biohazardous waste produced in a teaching or research lab cannot legally be treated and disposed of as regular trash on the premises. The waste shall be placed in a leak-proof container that is double-lined with red biohazard bags. CNSM safety will provide the container and bags. Call the CNSM Safety Office for the appropriate container.
Biohazardous waste s defined in the California Health and Safety Code section 117635 is:
Laboratory waste, including, but not limited to, the following: Cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories. Wastes from the production of bacteria, viruses, spores... and [contaminated] culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.
These regulations define "infectious agents" to include any microorganism, bacteria, mold, parasite, or virus, including, but not limited to, organisms managed as Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2), 3 or 4. The Chief of the Medical Waste Management Program at the California Department of Public Health has concurred with this definition. Some of the cultures we work with in microbiology, mycology, molecular biology, biochemistry and research labs are at BSL 2 level.
Remember, NEVER put sharps in trash bags of any kind; always use rigid containers such as cardboard containers or the free sharps containers provided by the CNSM Safety Office.
Housekeeping is another important issue for biohazard areas - keep your area clean. OSHA's general sanitation laws in Title 8, section 3362, state that the workplace must be clean and sanitary, and be in a condition not liable to give rise to harmful exposure. Make sure corridors and eyewash/shower units are not blocked.
If you or those you supervise work with human blood, human tissues or human blood-derived products, you produce medical waste. This includes culture of most human cell lines. Medical waste may NOT be autoclaved and/or disposed of on campus property. The regulations for the collection and disposal of medical waste are quite stringent. Please call the safety office immediately (x55623) if you think you might generate medical waste. We will set up your program for you, and supply you with all the necessary information and free medical waste bags, collection containers, etc. We will also coordinate the waste pick-up and disposal for you.
If you or those you supervise (including students) work with any human tissue or fluid - except urine, saliva or cheek cells - your work is regulated by the Cal/OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard. Improper handling could result in serious fines from the city of Long Beach. Please call the safety office immediately (x55623) if you think your work might fall under the bloodborne pathogen standard.
You must obtain approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to beginning a project involving recombinant DNA. Please submit the appropriate application, available from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.