Full text loading...
Chapter 27 : Safety Considerations in the Biosafety Level 4 Maximum-Containment Laboratory
This chapter addresses some of the basic safety issues and risk assessment considerations for those individuals who will be affiliated with biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory operations. It also discusses basic laboratory design and engineering considerations for reducing daily operational risks in these unique laboratories. The class III biological safety cabinet was designed for work at BSL-4 with microbiological agents, and it offers the highest degree of personnel and environmental protection from infectious aerosols, as well as protection of research materials from microbiological contaminants. The laboratory-specific BSL-4 safety and operations manual and its comprehensive protocols should be read by trainees and used for refresher training of experienced personnel. A supervised apprenticeship is completed when the trainer is satisfied that the trainee fully understands all of the principles of BSL-4 operations, and has satisfactorily demonstrated the requisite skills and temperament to work in the BSL-4 environment. Factors influencing the external containment envelope include clothing change room, personal shower and chemical disinfectant shower. Factors influencing the inside containment envelope include laboratory, microbiological security and communication training. The increase in construction of BSL-4 laboratories is the result of the need to study new and emerging diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality, as well as the concern that bioterrorists may use weaponized versions of exotic disease agents.