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Lab Safety Manual

Environmental Health and Safety
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Risk Groups

The hazard characteristics of a biological agent may be described as the ability to infect and cause disease, the severity of that disease, and the availability of effective preventative measures and treatments for that disease. Based on these characteristics, the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health developed risk groups to to classify the risk level of biological agents. These risk groups are defined in the following table:

Classification of Infectious Microorganisms by Risk Group

 Infectious Microorganisms by Risk Group

Figure 4 - from Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories [BMBL]. CDC/NIH, 5th Edition, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C