Basic Laboratory Design for Biosafety Levels 1 and 2

Containment facilities are described in the CDC/NIH publication Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) and in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines).

 

BSL-1 Laboratory Facilities

 

1.  Laboratories should have doors for access control.

2.  Laboratories must have a sink for hand washing.

3.  The laboratory should be designed so that it can be easily cleaned. Carpets and rugs in laboratories are not appropriate.

4.  Laboratory furniture must be capable of supporting anticipated loads and uses. Spaces between benches, cabinets, and equipment should be accessible for cleaning.

  • Bench tops must be impervious to water and resistant to heat, organic solvents, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals.
  • Chairs used in laboratory work must be covered with a non-porous material that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated with appropriate disinfectant.

5.  Laboratories windows that open to the exterior should be fitted with screens.

 

BSL-2 Laboratory Facilities

 

1.  Doors should be self-closing and lockable in order to restrict access to the laboratory.

2.  Laboratories must have a sink for hand washing. It should be located near the exit door.

3.  The laboratory should be designed so that it can be easily cleaned and decontaminated. Carpets and rugs in laboratories are not permitted.

4.  Laboratory furniture must be capable of supporting anticipated loads and uses. Spaces between benches, cabinets, and equipment should be accessible for cleaning.

  • Bench tops must be impervious to water and resistant to heat, organic solvents, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals.
  • Chairs used in laboratory work must be covered with a non-porous material that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated with appropriate disinfectant.

5.  Laboratory windows that open to the exterior are not recommended. However, if a laboratory does have windows that open to the exterior, they must be fitted with screens.

6.  Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) must be installed so that fluctuations of the room air supply and exhaust do not interfere with proper operations. BSCs should be located away from doors, windows that can be opened, heavily traveled laboratory areas, and other possible airflow disruptions.

7.  Vacuum lines should be protected with liquid disinfectant traps and a HEPA filter.

8.  An eyewash station must be readily available.

9.  Mechanical ventilation systems should provide an inward flow of air without recirculation to spaces outside of the laboratory.

10. HEPA filtered exhaust air from a Class II BSC can be safely recirculation back into the laboratory environment if the cabinet is tested and certified at least annually and operated according to manufacturer’s recommendations. BSCs can also be connected to the laboratory exhaust system by either a thimble (canopy) connection or directly exhausted to the outside through a hard connection.

11. A method for decontaminating all laboratory wastes should be available in the facility (e.g., autoclave, chemical disinfection, incineration, or other validated decontamination method)

12. Additional Considerations for BSL2 Laboratory Facilities:

  • Formal offices should not be included in the main laboratory space. An area should be provided in which researchers can record data and refer to notes. Eating and drinking is prohibited; an area should be provided for eating and drinking for each laboratory group.
  • Tall cabinets and shelves should be seismically anchored.
  • HVAC systems should provide inward flow of air from areas of low hazard into areas of high hazard.
  • A lockable room for medical waste accumulation and storage

 

Related Content/References

CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories

NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules