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Chapter 5 : Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards

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Abstract:

This chapter focuses on agent- and activity-based risk assessments. An appropriately trained professional is needed to assess the risk associated with the agent. The European Union and the United States limit their lists of pathogens to those causing disease in healthy adult humans, the workers at risk. The protocols or standard operating procedures being developed for the specific tasks and equipment involving the etiologic agents of human disease can be assessed to identify the need for special containment practices or protective equipment. Work activities, such as centrifugation, homogenization and sonication must be assessed. A risk assessment is especially important for new procedures accompanying technological advances in related fields, such as the creation of infectious virus from its genetic blueprint. The National Research Council (NRC) recommended that risk assessment of work involving environmental release of recombinants be based on the nature of the organism and the environment into which it is introduced, and not on the method by which it is produced. A more thorough risk evaluation of the agent-host-activity triad is required to develop appropriate containment for actual work with etiologic agents. After the agent and activity are assessed for risk, the remainder of the risk assessment involving the host is not the purview of the biosafety professional. The risk assessment needs to be kept current and relevant to the work in progress to control any potential increase in risk. This chapter talks about acceptability of the risk of work with biological hazards, and risk prioritization.

Citation: Fleming D. 2006. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 81-91. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch5

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References

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Tables

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TABLE 1

Risk of poliovirus reintroduction from laboratory or vaccine production facilities

Citation: Fleming D. 2006. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 81-91. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch5
Generic image for table
TABLE 2

Risk prioritization

Citation: Fleming D. 2006. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 81-91. In Fleming D, Hunt D (ed), Biological Safety. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815899.ch5

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