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Chapter 5 : Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards

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Abstract:

Biological risk assessment is a challenging process because the variables cannot always be measured quantitatively and subjective judgments must often be made. There is a complex interaction between agents, activities, and people in a constantly changing environment. Work with biohazardous agents, or materials suspected of containing such agents, needs to be assessed for the risk they pose to the individual, the community, and the environment. A biohazardous agent is an infectious agent or other substance produced by a living organism that causes disease in another living organism. Whether the work is performed at a research, clinical, teaching, or large-scale production facility, a risk assessment should be performed to provide the information needed to eliminate risk or reduce it to an acceptable level. The assessment of risk needs to be carried out by knowledgeable people using professional judgment and common sense. By using valid information about the specific agent and taking into account any additional risks posed by the specific procedures and equipment, the evaluator should be able to identify the most appropriate work practices, personal protective equipment, and facilities to protect people and the environment. A risk assessment should be done before work begins and should be repeated when changes are to be made in agents, practices, employees, or facilities. The risk assessment for work with biohazardous agents must take into account not only the agent but also the host and environment. This chapter focuses on agent- and activity-based risk assessments for general work not involving Select Agents. Host factors are addressed briefly, but they are more appropriately covered by occupational medicine.

Citation: Wooley D, Fleming D. 2017. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 95-104. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch5
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Tables

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Table 1.

Citation: Wooley D, Fleming D. 2017. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 95-104. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Citation: Wooley D, Fleming D. 2017. Risk Assessment of Biological Hazards, p 95-104. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch5

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