The Laboratory Biosafety Levels

The laboratory is a place that is very prone to work accidents, therefore it is necessary to implement occupational health and safety procedures in it. The laboratory has 4 levels criteria when we will do several things, such as research a diagnosis, epidemiological studies, pharmaceutical product development, scientific research and analysis of cells in living things, and many more.

All of these things are carried out in the laboratory, but all of these things are not all done in one laboratory, but at several types of laboratory. The more difficult and complex the sample being studied, the higher the level of the laboratory, even the work procedures and security applied will also be different and more stringent. The level of work procedures and safety in the laboratory is known as the biosafety level of the laboratory.

Biosafety Levels are a series of protections relegated to autoclave-related activities that take place in particular biological labs. They are individual safeguards designed to protect laboratory personnel, as well as the surrounding environment and community. These levels, which are ranked from one to four, are selected based on the agents or organisms that are being researched or worked on in any given laboratory setting.

Here are some explanations of laboratory biosafety levels quoted from

Laboratory Biosafety Level-1

Laboratory biosafety level-1 applies to laboratory settings in which personnel work with low-risk microbes that pose little to no threat of infection. An example of a microbe that is typically worked with is a nonpathogenic strain of E. Coli, Lactobacillus sp., Asporogenous bacillus, Adenovirus-associated virus (AAV), and Baculo viruses.

This laboratory setting typically consists of research taking place on benches without the use of special contaminant equipment. Its lab doesn't need to be isolating the surrounding facilities, because at biosafety level-1, we only carry out standard research activities and practices, such as:

- Mechanical pipetting only (no mouth pipetting allowed)

- Safe sharps handling

- Avoidance of splashes or aerosols

- Daily decontamination of all work surfaces when work is complete

- Hand wash 

- Prohibition of food, drink, and smoking materials in lab settings

- Personal protective equipment, such as eye protection, gloves, and a lab coat or gown

- Just the biohazard signs

Laboratory Biosafety Level-2

Laboratory biosafety level-2 applies to laboratory settings in which personnel work with human diseases (i.e. pathogenic or infectious organisms) that pose a moderate health hazard. Examples of agents typically worked in here include equine encephalitis viruses and HIV, as well as Staphylococcus aureus (staph infections).

The safety equipment, facilities, and construction design used in this laboratory are slightly improved from the previous one. Because, the biosafety level-2 is used for clinical trials, diagnostics, learning, and laboratory work with risk microorganisms 2. The people who work in this lab are expected to take even greater care to prevent injuries such as cuts and other breaches of the skin, as well as ingestion and mucous membrane exposures.

Inside the laboratory biosafety level-2, there are several things that need to be considered by, such as:

- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn, including lab coats and gloves. Eye protection and face shields can also be worn, as needed

- All procedures that can cause infection from aerosols or splashes are performed within a biological safety cabinet (BSC)

- An autoclave or an alternative method of decontamination is available for proper disposal

- The laboratory has self-closing, lockable doors

- A sink and eye wash station should be readily available

- Biohazard warning signs

- Access to this lab is far more restrictive. Outside personnel, or those with an increased risk of contamination, are often restricted from entering when work is being conducted

Laboratory Biosafety Level-3

Laboratory Biosafety Level-3 applies to laboratory settings in which personnel work on microbes that are either indigenous or exotic, and can cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation. Examples of microbes worked with, including yellow fever, west-nile virus, and the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

The microbes are so serious that the work is often strictly controlled and registered with the appropriate government agencies. Laboratory personnel are also under medical surveillance and could receive immunizations for microbes they work with. These laboratories are generally located far from community settlement.

The following are things that need to be considered when we are on the inside of the Laboratory Biosafety Level-3:

- Standard personal protective equipment must be worn, and respirators might be required

- Solid-front wraparound gowns, scrub suits or coveralls are often required

- Access to the hands-free sink and eyewash are available near the exit door

- Sustained directional airflow to draw air into the laboratory from clean areas towards potentially contaminated areas (exhaust air cannot be re-circulated)

- The self-closing set of locking doors with access away from general building corridors

- The access is restricted and controlled at all times

Laboratory Biosafety Level-4

This Laboratory Biosafety Level-4 is very rare. The people who work here will usually test for microbes that cause serious, dangerous and deadly diseases. Infections caused by these types of microbes are frequently fatal, and come without treatment or vaccines. The examples of microbes include Ebola and Marburg viruses, Herpesvirus simiae, Lassa virus, and Machupo virus.

The following are things that need to be considered when we are on the inside of the Laboratory Biosafety Level-4:

- Personnel are required to change clothes before entering, then shower upon exiting

- Decontamination of all materials before exiting

- Personnel must wear appropriate personal protective equipment, as well as a full body, air supplied, and positive pressure suit

- A Class III biological safety cabinet

- This laboratory is extremely isolated and often located in a separate building or in an isolated and restricted zone of the building. The laboratory also features a dedicated supply and exhaust air, as well as vacuum lines and decontamination systems

So, that is some information related to the 4 different levels of the biosafety laboratory along with the health and safety procedures applied in it. The existence of different procedures applied at each laboratory level is very important to note for anyone who works in it.

Due to the differences in the 4 laboratories, different facilities and methods are also needed to be considered, to avoid and maintain the health and safety of everyone in the laboratory.

Visit our website to get various laboratory equipment, facilities that you needed and wanted according to the level of the laboratory where you work.

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