Summary of biosafety level

BSL Infectious agents Safety Equipment
1 Bacillus subtilis, hepatitis virus, E.coli Open bench top
2 Measles virus, Hepatitis B virus Class I or II BSCs. PPE: lab coat, gloves, face protection as needed
3 M. tuberculosis, Bacillus anthracis Class I or II BSCs. PPE: lab coat, gloves, overshoes, respiratory protection
4 Ebola, Rift Valley Fever Class III or I or II BSCs. PPE: full-body, air-supplied, positive pressure personnel suit.

BSL = Biosafety Level BSC = Biosafety cabinets PPE = Personal protective equipment

The assignment of an agent to a biosafety level must be based on a risk assessment. The risk assessment will take the Hazard Group, as well as other factors, into consideration.

For example, an agent of Hazard Group 2 may be assigned to BSL-2. However, if a particular experiment requires the generation of high-concentration aerosols, BSL-3 may be more appropriate to provide the necessary degree of safety, since it ensures superior containment of aerosols in the laboratory.