Vertebrate Animal Biosafety Level Criteria for Vivarium Research Facilities

  1. Animal Biosafety Level 1
  2. Animal Biosafety Level 2
  3. Animal Biosafety Level 3
  4. Animal Biosafety Level 4

The recommendations detailed below describe four combinations of practices, safety equipment, and facilities for experiments with animals involved in infectious disease research and other studies that may require containment. These four combinations, designated Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSL) 1 - 4, provide increasing levels of protection to personnel and to the environment, and are recommended as minimal standards for activities involving infected laboratory animals. The four ABSL's describe animal facilities and practices applicable to work with animals infected with agents assigned to biosafety levels 1 - 4, respectively. Investigators that are inexperienced in conducting these types of experiments should seek help in designing their experiments from individuals who are experienced in this special work.

In addition to the animal biosafety levels described in this section, the USDA has developed facility parameters and work practices for handling agents of agriculture significance. CDC/NIH's BMBL, Appendix D includes a discussion on Animal Biosafety Level 3 Agriculture (ABSL-3-Ag). USDA requirements are unique to agriculture because of the necessity to protect the environment from pathogens of economic or environmental impact. Appendix D also describes some of the enhancements beyond SL/ABSL-3 that may be required by USDA-APHIS when working in the laboratory or Vivarium with certain veterinary agents of concern.

Facility standards and practices for invertebrate vectors and hosts are not specifically addressed in this section. View CDC/NIH's BMBL, Appendix E for information on the Arthropod Containment Guidelines.

ANIMAL BIOSAFETY LEVEL 1

Animal Biosafety Level 1 is suitable for work involving well characterized agents that are not known to cause disease in immunocompetent adult humans, and present minimal potential hazard to personnel and the environment.

ABSL-1 facilities should be separated from the general traffic patterns of the building and restricted as appropriate. Special containment equipment or facility design may be required as determined by appropriate risk assessment.

Personnel must have specific training in animal facility procedures and must be supervised by an individual with adequate knowledge of potential hazards and experimental animal procedures.

The following standard practices, safety equipment, and facility requirements apply to ABSL-1:

A. Standard Microbiological Practices
1. The animal facility director establishes and enforces policies, procedures, and protocols for institutional policies and emergency situations.
 

Each institute must assure that worker safety and health concerns are addressed as part of the animal protocol review.

 

Prior to beginning a study, animal protocols must also be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (if applicable).

2. A safety manual specific to the animal facility is prepared or adopted in consultation with the animal facility director and appropriate safety professionals.
 

The safety manual must be available and accessible. Personnel are advised of potential hazards and are required to read and follow instructions on practices and procedures.

3. Supervisor must ensure that animal care, laboratory and support personnel receive appropriate training regarding their duties, animal husbandry procedure, potential hazards, manipulations of infectious agents, necessary precautions to prevent hazard or exposures, and hazard/exposure evaluation procedures (physical hazards, splashes, aerosolization, etc.). Personnel must receive annual updates or additional training when procedures or policies change. Records are maintained for all hazard evaluations, employee training sessions and staff attendance.
4. Appropriate medical surveillance program is in place, as determined by risk assessment. The need for an animal allergy prevention program should be considered.
 

Facility supervisors should ensure that medical staff is informed of potential occupational hazards within the animal facility, to include those associated with research, animal husbandry duties, animal care and manipulations.

 

Personal health status may impact an individual's susceptibility to infection, ability to receive immunizations or prophylactic interventions. Therefore, all personnel and particularly women of child-bearing age should be provided information regarding immune competence and conditions that may predispose them to infection. Individuals having these conditions should be encouraged to self-identify to the institution's healthcare provider for appropriate counseling and guidance.

 

Personnel using respirators must be enrolled in an appropriately constituted respiratory protection program.

5. A sign incorporating safety information must be posted at the entrance to the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated. The sign must include the animal biosafety level, general occupational health requirements, personal protective equipment requirements, the supervisor's name (or other responsible personnel), telephone number, and required procedures for entering and exiting the animal areas. Identification of specific infectious agents is recommended when more than one agent is being used within an animal room.
 

Security-sensitive agent information should be posted in accordance with the institutional policy.

 

Advance consideration should be given to emergency and disaster recovery plans, as a contingency for man-made or natural disaster.

6. Access to the animal room is limited. Only those persons required for program or support purposes are authorized to enter the facility.
 

All persons including facility personnel, service workers, and visitors are advised of the potential hazards (natural or research pathogens, allergens, etc.) and are instructed on the appropriate safeguards.

7. Protective laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms are recommended to prevent contamination of personal clothing.
 

Gloves are worn to prevent skin contact with contaminated, infectious and hazardous materials, and when handling animals.

 

Gloves and personal protective equipment should be removed in a manner that minimizes transfer of infectious materials outside of the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.

 

Persons must wash their hands after removing gloves, and before leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.

 

Eye and face and respiratory protection should be used in rooms containing infected animals, as dictated by the risk assessment.

8. Eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics, and storing food for human use should only be done in designated areas and are not permitted in animal or procedure rooms.
9. All procedures are carefully performed to minimize the creation of aerosols or splatters of infectious materials and waste.
10. Mouth pipetting is prohibited. Mechanical pipetting devices must be used.
11.

Policies for the safe handling of sharps, such as needles, scalpels, pipettes, and broken glassware must be developed and implemented.

When applicable, laboratory supervisors should adopt improved engineering and work practice controls that reduce the risk of sharps injuries. Precautions, including those listed below, must always be taken with sharp items. These include:

 
  • Needles and syringes or other sharp instruments are limited to use in the animal facility when there is no alternative for such procedures as parenteral injection, blood collection, or aspiration of fluids from laboratory animals and diaphragm bottles.
 
  • Disposable needles must not be bent, sheared, broken, recapped, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand before disposal. Used disposable needles must be carefully placed in puncture-resistant containers used for sharps disposal. Sharps containers should be located as close to the work site as possible.
 
  • Non-disposable sharps must be placed in a hard-walled container for transport to a processing area for decontamination, preferably by autoclaving.
 
  • Broken glassware must not be handled directly. Instead, it must be removed using a brush and dustpan, tongs, or forceps. Plasticware should be substituted for glassware whenever possible.
 
  • Equipment containing sharp edges and corners should be avoided.
12. Equipment and work surfaces are routinely decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant after work with an infectious agent, and after any spills, splashes, or other overt contamination.
13. Animals and plants not associated with the work being performed must not be permitted in the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
14. An effective integrated pest management program is required.
15.

All wastes from the animal room (including animal tissues, carcasses, and bedding) are transported from the animal room in leak-proof, covered containers for appropriate disposal in compliance with applicable institutional, local, and state requirements.

Decontaminate all potentially infectious materials before disposal using an effective method.

B. Special Practices:  None required.
C. Safety Equipment (Primary Barriers and Personal Protective Equipment)
1. A risk assessment should determine the appropriate type of personal protective equipment to be utilized.
2. Special containment devices or equipment may be required as determined by appropriate risk assessment.
 

Protective laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms may be required to prevent contamination of personal clothing.

 

Protective outer clothing is not worn outside areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or manipulated. Gowns and uniforms are not worn outside the facility.

3. Protective eyewear is worn when conducting procedures that have the potential to create splashes of microorganisms or other hazardous materials. Persons who wear contact lenses should also wear eye protection when entering areas with potentially high concentrations or airborne particulates.
4. Gloves are worn to protect hands from exposure to hazardous materials.
 

A risk assessment should be performed to identify the appropriate glove for the task and alternatives to latex gloves should be available.

 

Change gloves when contaminated, integrity has been compromised, or when otherwise necessary.

 

Gloves must not be worn outside the animal rooms.

 

Gloves and personal protective equipment should be removed in a manner that prohibits transfer of infectious materials.

 

Do not wash or reuse disposable gloves. Dispose of used gloves with other contaminated waste.

 

Persons must wash their hands after handling animals and before leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated. Hand washing should occur after the removal of gloves.

D. Laboratory Facilities (Secondary Barriers)
1. The animal facility is separated from areas that are open to unrestricted personnel traffic within the building. External facility doors are self-closing and self-locking.
 

Access to the animal facility is restricted.

 

Doors to areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed, open inward, are self-closing, are kept closed when experimental animals are present, and should never be propped open. Doors to cubicles inside an animal room may open outward or slide horizontally or vertically.

2. The animal facility must have a sink for hand washing.
 

Sink traps are filled with water, and/or appropriate liquid to prevent the migration of vermin and gases.

3. The animal facility is designed, constructed, and maintained to facilitate cleaning and housekeeping. The interior surfaces (walls, floors and ceilings) are water resistant.
 

It is recommended that penetrations in floors, walls and ceiling surfaces are sealed, to include openings around ducts, doors and door frames, to facilitate pest control and proper cleaning.

 

Floors must be slip resistant, impervious to liquids, and resistant to chemicals.

4.

Cabinets and bench tops must be impervious to water and resistant to heat, organic solvents, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals. Spaces between benches, cabinets, and equipment should be accessible for cleaning.

 

Chairs used in animal area must be covered with a non-porous material that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated. Furniture must be capable of supporting anticipated loads and uses. Sharp edges and corners should be avoided.

5. External windows are not recommended; if present, windows must be resistant to breakage. Where possible, windows should be sealed. If the animal facility has windows that open, they are fitted with fly screens. The presence of windows may impact facility security and therefore should be assessed by security personnel.
6. Ventilation should be provided in accordance with the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. No recirculation of exhaust air should occur. It is recommended that animal rooms have inward directional airflow.
  Ventilation system design should consider the heat and high moisture load produced during the cleaning of animal rooms and the cage wash process.
7. Internal facility appurtenances, such as light fixtures, air ducts, and utility pipes, are arranged to minimize horizontal surface areas to facilitate cleaning and minimize the accumulation of debris or fomites.
8. If floor drains are provided, the traps are filled with water, and/or appropriate disinfectant to prevent the migration of vermin and gases.
9. cages are washed manually or preferably in a mechanical cage washer. The mechanical cage washer should have a final rinse temperature of at least 180 degrees F.
10. Illumination is adequate for all activities, avoiding reflections and glare that could impede vision.
11. Emergency eyewash and shower are readily available; location is determined by risk assessment.

ANIMAL BIOSAFETY LEVEL 2

Animal Biosafety Level 2 builds upon the practices, procedures, containment equipment, and facility requirements of ABSL-1. ABSL-2 is suitable for work involving laboratory animals infected with agents associated with human disease and pose moderate hazards to personnel and the environment. It also addresses hazards from ingestion as well as from percutaneous and mucous membrane exposure.

ABSL-2 requires that 1) access to the animal facility is restricted; 2) personnel must have specific training in animal facility procedures, the handling of infected animals and the manipulation of pathogenic agents; 3) personnel must be supervised by individuals with adequate knowledge of potential hazards, microbiological agents, animal manipulations and husbandry procedures; and 4) procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials, or where aerosols or splashes may be created, should be conducted in biological safety cabinets or by use of other physical containment equipment.

Appropriate personal protective equipment must be utilized to reduce exposure to infectious agents, animals, and contaminated equipment. Implementation of employee occupational health programs should be considered.

The following standard and special practices, safety equipment, and facility requirements apply to ABSL-2:

A. Standard Microbiological Practices
1. The animal facility director establishes and enforces policies, procedures, and protocols for institutional policies and emergency situations.
  Each institute must assure that worker safety and health concerns are addressed as part of the animal protocol review.
  Prior to beginning a study, animal protocols must also be reviewed and approved by the IACUC and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (if applicable).
2. A safety manual specific to the animal facility is prepared or adopted in consultation with the animal facility director and appropriate safety professionals.
  The safety manual must be available and accessible. Personnel are advised of potential hazards, and are required to read and follow instructions on practices and procedures.
  Consideration should be given to specific biohazards unique to the animal species and protocol in use.
3. Supervisor must ensure that animal care, laboratory and support personnel receive appropriate training regarding their duties, animal husbandry procedure, potential hazards, manipulations of infectious agents, necessary precautions to prevent hazard or exposures, and hazard/exposure evaluation procedures (physical hazards, splashes, aerosolization, etc.). Personnel must receive annual updates or additional training when procedures or policies change. Records are maintained for all hazard evaluations, employee training sessions and staff attendance.
4. Appropriate medical surveillance program is in place, as determined by risk assessment. The need for an animal allergy prevention program should be considered.
  Facility supervisors should ensure that medical staff is informed of potential occupational hazards within the animal facility, to include those associated with research, animal husbandry duties, animal care and manipulations.
  Personal health status may impact an individual's susceptibility to infection, ability to receive immunizations or prophylactic interventions. Therefore, all personnel and particularly women of child-bearing age should be provided information regarding immune competence and conditions that may predispose them to infection. Individuals having these conditions should be encouraged to self-identify to the institution's healthcare provider for appropriate counseling and guidance.
  Personnel using respirators must be enrolled in an appropriately constituted respiratory protection program.
5. A sign incorporating the universal biohazard symbol must be posted at the entrance to areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated when infectious agents are present. The sign must include the animal biosafety level, general occupational health requirements, personal protective equipment requirements, the supervisor's name (or other responsible personnel), telephone number, and required procedures for entering and exiting the animal areas. Identification of specific infectious agents is recommended when more than one agent is being used within an animal room.
  Security-sensitive agent information and occupational health requirements should be posted in accordance with the institutional policy.
  Advance consideration should be given to emergency and disaster recovery plans, as a contingency for man-made or natural disasters.
6. Access to the animal room is limited. Only those persons required for program or support purposes are authorized to enter the animal facility and the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
  All persons including facility personnel, service workers, and visitors are advised of the potential hazards (natural or research pathogens, allergens, etc.) and are instructed on the appropriate safeguards.
7. Protective laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms are recommended to prevent contamination of personal clothing.
  Gloves are worn to prevent skin contact with contaminated, infectious and hazardous materials and when handling animals.
  Gloves and personal protective equipment should be removed in a manner that minimizes transfer of infectious materials outside of the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
  Persons must wash their hands after removing gloves, and before leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
  Eye and face and respiratory protection should be used in rooms containing infected animals, as dictated by the risk assessment.
8. Eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, apply cosmetics, and storing food for human use should only be done in designated areas and are not permitted in animal or procedure rooms.
9. All procedures are carefully performed to minimize the creation of aerosols or splatters of infectious materials and waste.
10. Mouth pipetting is prohibited. Mechanical pipetting devices must be used.
11. Policies for the safe handling of sharps, such as needles, scalpels, pipettes, and broken glassware must be developed and implemented. When applicable, laboratory supervisors should adopt improved engineering and work practice controls that reduce the risk of sharps injuries. Precautions, including those listed below, must always be taken with sharp items. These include:
 
  • Needles and syringes or other sharp instruments are limited to use in the animal facility when there is no alternative for such procedures as parenteral injection, blood collection, or aspiration of fluids from laboratory animals and diaphragm bottles.
 
  • Disposable needles must not be bent, sheared, broken, recapped, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand before disposal. Used disposable needles must be carefully placed in puncture-resistant containers used for sharps disposal. Sharps containers should be located as close to the work site as possible.
 
  • Non-disposable sharps must be placed in a hard-walled container for transport to a processing area for decontamination, preferably by autoclaving.
 
  • Broken glassware must not be handled directly; it should be removed using a brush and dustpan, tongs, or forceps. Plasticware should be substituted for glassware whenever possible.
 
  • Equipment containing sharp edges and corners should be avoided.
12. Equipment and work surfaces are routinely decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant after work with an infectious agent, and after any spills, splashes, or other overt contamination.
13. Animals and plants not associated with the work being performed must not be permitted in the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
14. An effective integrated pest management program is required.
15. All wastes from the animal room (including animal tissues, carcasses, and bedding) are transported from the animal room in leak-proof containers for appropriate disposal in compliance with applicable institutional, local and state requirements.
  Decontaminate all potentially infectious materials before disposal using an effective method.
B. Special Practices
1. Animal care staff, laboratory and routine support personnel must be provided a medical surveillance program as dictated by the risk assessment, and administered appropriate immunizations for agents handled or potentially present, before entry into animal rooms.
  When appropriate, a baseline serum sample should be stored.
2. Procedures involving a high potential for generating aerosols should be conducted within a biosafety cabinet or other physical containment device. When a procedure cannot be performed within a biosafety cabinet, a combination of personal protective equipment and other containment devices must be used.
  Consideration should be given to the use of restraint devices and practices that reduce the risk of exposure during animal manipulations (e.g., physical restraint devices, chemical restraint medications, etc.)
3. Decontamination is recommended for all potentially infectious materials and animal waste before movement outside the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated by an appropriate method (e.g., autoclave, chemical disinfection, or other approved decontamination methods). This includes potentially infectious animal tissues, carcasses, contaminated bedding, unused feed, sharps, and other refuse.
  Consideration should be given to means for decontaminating routine husbandry equipment, sensitive electronic and medical equipment.
  Materials to be decontaminated outside of the immediate areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated must be placed in a durable, leak-proof, covered container and secured for transport. The outer surface of the container is disinfected prior to moving materials. The transport container must contain a universal biohazard label.
  Develop and implement an appropriate waste disposal program in compliance with applicable institutional, local and state requirements. Autoclaving of content prior to incineration is recommended.
4. Equipment, cages, and racks should be handled in a manner that minimizes contamination of other areas.
  Equipment must be decontaminated before repair, maintenance, or removal from the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.
  Spills involving infectious materials must be contained, decontaminated, and cleaned up by staff properly trained and equipped to work with infectious material.
5. Incidents that may result in exposure to infectious materials must be immediately evaluated and treated according to procedures described in the safety manual. All such incidents must be reported to the animal facility supervisor or personnel designated by the institution. Medical evaluation, surveillance, and treatment should be provided as appropriate and records maintained.
C. Safety Equipment (Primary Barriers and Personal Protective Equipment)
1. Properly maintained biological safety cabinets, personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, lab coats, face shields, respirators, etc.) and/or other physical containment devices or equipment, are used whenever conducting procedures with a potential for crating aerosols or splashes. These include necropsy of infected animals, harvesting of tissues or fluids from infected animals or eggs, and intranasal inoculation of animals.
  When indicated by risk assessment, animals are housed in primary biosafety containment equipment appropriate for the animal species, such as solid wall and bottom cages covered with filter bonnets for rodents, or larger cages placed in inward flow ventilated enclosures or other equivalent primary containment systems for larger animal cages.
2. A risk assessment should determine the appropriate type of personal protective equipment to be utilized.
  Scrub suits and uniforms are removed before leaving the animal facility. Reusable clothing is appropriately contained and decontaminated before being laundered. Laboratory and protective clothing should never be taken home.
  Gowns, uniforms, laboratory coats and personal protective equipment are worn while in the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or manipulated and removed prior to exiting. Disposable personal protective equipment and other contaminated waste are appropriately contained and decontaminated prior to disposal.
3. Eye and face protection (mask, goggles, face shield or other splatter guards) are used for anticipated splashes/sprays from infectious or other hazardous materials and when the animal or microorganisms must be handled outside the biological safety cabinet or containment device. Eye and face protection must be disposed of with other contaminated laboratory waste or decontaminated before reuse. Persons who wear contact lenses should also wear eye protection when entering areas with potentially high concentrations or airborne particulates.
  Persons having contact with the non-human primates should assess risk of mucous membrane exposure and wear appropriate protective equipment (e.g., masks, goggles, faceshields, etc.) as needed. Respiratory protection is worn based upon risk assessment.
4. Gloves are worn to protect hands from exposure to hazardous materials. A risk assessment should be performed to identify the appropriate glove for the task and alternatives to latex gloves should be available.
  Gloves are changed when contaminated, integrity has been compromised, or when otherwise necessary.
  Gloves must not be worn outside the animal rooms.
  Gloves and personal protective equipment should be removed in a manner that prohibits transfer of infectious materials.
  Do not wash or reuse disposable gloves. Dispose of used gloves with other contaminated waste.
  Persons must wash their hands after handling animals and before leaving the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated. Hand washing should occur after the removal of gloves.
D. Laboratory Facilities (Secondary Barriers)
1. The animal facility is separated from areas that are open to unrestricted personnel traffic within the building. External facility doors are self-closing and self-locking.
  Access to the animal facility is restricted.
  Doors to areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed, open inward, are self-closing, are kept closed when experimental animals are present, and should never be propped open. Doors to cubicles inside an animal room may open outward or slide horizontally or vertically.
2. A hand washing sink is located at the exit of the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated. Additional sinks for hand washing should be located in other appropriate locations within the facility.
  If the animal facility has segregated areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or manipulated, a sink must also be available for hand washing at the exit from each segregated area.
  Sink traps are filled with water, and/or appropriate liquid to prevent the migration of vermin and gases.
3. The animal facility is designed, constructed, and maintained to facilitate cleaning and housekeeping. The interior surfaces (walls, floors and ceilings) are water resistant.
  Penetrations in floors, walls and ceiling surfaces are sealed, to include openings around ducts, doors and door frames, to facilitate pest control and proper cleaning.
  Floors must be slip resistant, impervious to liquids, and resistant to chemicals.
4. Cabinets and bench tops must be impervious to water and resistant to heat, organic solvents, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals. Spaces between benches, cabinets, and equipment should be accessible for cleaning.
  Furniture should be minimized. Chairs used in animal area must be covered with a non-porous material that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated. Furniture must be capable of supporting anticipated loads and uses. Sharp edges and corners should be avoided.
5. External windows are not recommended; if present, windows should be sealed and must be resistant to breakage. The presence of windows may impact facility security and therefore should be assessed by security personnel.
6. Ventilation should be provided in accordance with the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The direction of airflow into the animal facility is inward; animal rooms should maintain inward directional airflow compared to adjoining hallways. A ducted exhaust air ventilation system is provided. Exhaust air is discharged to the outside without being re-circulated to other rooms.
  Ventilation system design should consider the heat and high moisture load produced during the cleaning of animal rooms and the cage wash process.
7. Internal facility appurtenances, such as light fixtures, air ducts, and utility pipes, are arranged to minimize horizontal surface areas, to facilitate cleaning and minimize the accumulation of debris or fomites.
8. Floor drains must be maintained and filled with water, and/or appropriate disinfectant to prevent the migration of vermin and gases.
9. Cages should be autoclaved or otherwise decontaminated prior to washing. Mechanical cage washer should have a final rinse temperature of at least 180 degrees F. The cage wash area should be designed to accommodate the use of high pressure spray systems, humidity, strong chemical disinfectants and 180 degrees F water temperatures, during the cage/equipment cleaning process.
10. Illumination is adequate for all activities, avoiding reflections and glare that could impede vision.
11. If biological safety cabinets are present, they must be installed so that fluctuations of the room air supply and exhaust do not interfere with proper operations. Biological safety cabinets should be located away from doors, heavily traveled laboratory areas, and other possible airflow disruptions.
  HEPA filtered exhaust air from a Class II biological safety cabinet can be safely re-circulated back into the laboratory environment if the cabinet is tested and certified at least annually and operated according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Biological safety cabinets can also be connected to the laboratory exhaust system by either a thimble (canopy) connection or a direct (hard) connection. Provisions to assure proper safety cabinet performance and air system operation must be verified.
  Correct performance of the biological safety cabinets should be re-certified at least once a year.
  All biological safety cabinets should be used according to manufacturer's recommendation, to protect the worker and avoid creating a hazardous environment from volatile chemicals and gases.
12. If vacuum service (i.e., central or local) is provided, each service connection should be fitted with liquid disinfectant traps and an in-line HEPA filter, placed as near as practicable to each use point or service cock. Filters are installed to permit in-place decontamination and replacement.
13. An autoclave should be considered in the animal facility to facilitate decontamination of infectious materials and waste.
14. Emergency eyewash and shower are readily available; location is determined by risk assessment.

ANIMAL BIOSAFETY LEVEL 3

Animal Biosafety Level 3 involves practices suitable for work with laboratory animals infected with indigenous or exotic agents, agents that present a potential for aerosol transmission and agents causing serious or potentially lethal disease. ABSL-3 builds upon the standard practices, procedures, containment equipment, and facility requirements of ABSL-2.

ABSL-3 laboratory has special engineering and design features.

ABSL-3 requires that 1) access to the animal facility is restricted; 2) personnel must have specific training in animal facility procedures, the handling of infected animals and the manipulation of potentially lethal agents; 3) personnel must be supervised by individuals with adequate knowledge of potential hazards, microbiological agents, animal manipulations and husbandry procedures; and 4) procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials, or where aerosols or splashes may be created, must be conducted in biological safety cabinets or by use of other physical containment equipment.

Appropriate personal protective equipment must be utilized to reduce exposure to infectious agents, animals, and contaminated equipment. Employee occupational health programs must be implemented.

No work is performed with animals infected with agents requiring Biosafety Level 3 containment at the University of the Sciences. USciences does not have Biosafety Level 3 designed laboratories.

ANIMAL BIOSAFETY LEVEL 4

Animal Biosafety Level 4 is required for work with animals infected with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of life-threatening disease, aerosol transmission, or related agent with unknown risk of transmission. Agents with a close or identical antigenic relationship to agents requiring ABSL-4 containment must be handled at this level until sufficient data are obtained either to confirm continued work at this level, or to re-designate the level. Animal care staff must have specific and thorough training in handling extremely hazardous, infectious agents and infected animals. Animal care staff must understand the primary and secondary containment functions of standard and special practices, containment equipment, and laboratory design characteristics. All animal care staff and supervisors must be competent in handling animals, agents and procedures requiring ABSL-4 containment. Access to the animal facility within the ABSL-4 laboratory is controlled by the animal facility director and/or laboratory supervisor in accordance with institutional policies.

No work is performed with animals with agents requiring Biosafety Level 4 containment at the University of the Sciences. Agents requiring this level of containment may not be brought on campus.

Information in this section was obtained from CDC/NIH's Publication: "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition" Please consult this publication for additional information and procedures on biosafety.


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