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Lab Safety Manual

Environmental Health and Safety
108 Edwards Hall
1810 Kerr Dr.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-5856
785-532-1981 fax
safety@k-state.edu

Animal Biosafety Levels

Animal Biosafety Level 1 (ABSL-1) Facilities

ABSL-1 facilities are suitable for work involving laboratory animals infected with well-characterized agents not known to consistently cause disease in immunocompetent adult humans, and that present minimal potential hazard to laboratory 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 an 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.

Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) Facilities

ABSL-2 facilities and practices are 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 BSCs or by use of other primary 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.

Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) Facilities

ABSL-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. An ABSL-3 facility 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 BSCs 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.

When animals are subject to NIH Guidelines BL3N requirements, a double barrier shall be provided to separate male and female animals unless reproductive studies are part of the experiment or other measures are taken to avoid reproductive transmission. Reproductive incapacitation may be used. All genetically engineered neonates shall be permanently marked within 72 hours after birth, if their size permits, or their containers should be marked. In addition, transgenic animals should contain distinct and biochemically assayable DNA sequences that allow identification of transgenic animals from among non-transgenic animals.

Biosafety Level 3 Agriculture (BSL-3Ag) Facilities

BSL-3Ag containment addresses activities using agents designated as High Consequence Pathogens by the USDA when involving loose-housed animals that cannot be enclosed in primary containment caging. BSL-3Ag facilities are designed so that the room itself acts as a primary barrier to prevent release of infectious agents into the environment. Using the containment features of the standard ABSL-3 facility as a starting point, BSL-3Ag containment spaces must be designed, constructed and certified as primary containment barriers. The BSL-3Ag facility can be a separate building, but more often it is an isolated zone within a facility operating at a lower biosafety level, usually at BSL-3. This isolated zone has strictly controlled access with special physical security measures and functions on the “box within a box” principle.