Biological Safety (Biosafety) promotes safe microbiological practices, procedures, and proper use of containment equipment and facilities. At William & Mary, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) purposely reviews all research proposals involving infectious agents, Recombinant DNA, pathogens, human tissue, fluids or cells and field work on animals to assure all research is conducted in a safe and appropriate manner. Moreover, these proposals are expected to comply with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving recombinant DNA Molecules, the CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, and OSHA Standards of Bloodborne Pathogens. 

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan (doc)

Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook (pdf)

Regulated Medical Waste Management (doc)

Biochem PPE Matrix (doc)

Laminar Flow Hoods

The need to protect personnel, samples and the environment from exposure to biological hazards and cross contamination is achieved by using primary containment devices such as laminar flow hoods in laboratories. Laminar flow hoods are divided into two categories:  biological safety cabinets and laminar flow clean benches.  All laminar flow hoods use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to sterilize and remove particulates from the air. However, these containments differ in the level of protection provided to the user, the environment and the sample.

 Laminar Flow Clean Benches

A laminar flow clean bench provides a space to work with a sample or product, where it will be protected from contamination by particulates such as microorganisms. The basic laminar flow clean bench does not protect the user from chemically hazardous or infectious materials, including particulate or volatile hazards. For this reason, when a sample, user and the environment need to be protected, a biosafety cabinet should be utilized.

Biosafety Cabinets

A Biosafety Cabinet is an enclosed, ventilated hood or workspace that allows for the safe handling of pathogens, contaminants or other potentially hazardous materials. The primary purpose of a biosafety cabinet is to protect the operator and the surrounding environment from biological contaminants and other hazardous materials. These cabinets are designed to provide various levels of protection. The proper class and type must be selected to match the need for the specific application and level of bio-containment required.
EH&S is responsible for ensuring certification of all Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) and Laminar Flow Clean Benches (LFCB) on an annual basis. These containment devices must be decontaminated prior to moving and re-certified prior to use after a move. Only certified biosafety cabinets and laminar flow hoods are considered safe to use, and may not be used if the certification is not up to date. Please contact EHS before moving a BSC or LFCB to ensure proper certification. 


Hazardous Materials Shipment:

The University of New Hampshire provides an excellent  document, Guidelines for the Shipment of Excepted Quantities of Flammable Liquids According to IATA/ICAO Regulation (pdf), that explains how to package and ship excepted quantities of flammable liquids.  This includes samples that are preserved in small quantities of flammable liquids such as ethanol.

The University of New Hampshire also provides guidelines for shipment of other hazardous materials to include biological materials.  These guidelines can be accessed at The University of New Hampshire's web page.