Laboratory biosafety

The principles of preventing unintentional exposure to pathogen and toxins, or their accidental release determine laboratory biosafety. Laboratory biosafety levels are categorized as follows:

Biosafety Level Laboratory type Laboratory practice Safety equipment
Basic - Biosafety Level 1 Basic teaching; research GMP None
Basic - Biosafety Level 2 Primary health and diagnostic service; research GMP plus protective clothing BSC
Containment - Biosafety Level 3 Special diagnostic service; research As Level 2 plus special clothin, controlled access, directional airflow BSC
Maximum containment - Biosafety Level 4 Dangerous pathogen units As Level 3 plus airlock entry, shower exit, special waste disposal Class III BSC

Figure 1.Table with biosafety levels

GMP = Good microbiological practice. BSC = Biosafety cabinets

Biosafety level designations are based on lab design and practice required for working with agents from the various hazard groups. In the UK Biosafety lab is referred to as Containment lab.

Source: World health organization, 2004. Laboratory biosafety manual.

Read more:

Click here to read the summary of biosafety level and infectious agents.