Additional Info - Biosafety

Biological Spill Response

Biohazard Spill Cleanup

The guidelines are intended to assist the principal investigator, laboratory supervisor, and other responsible individuals who may be involved in the cleanup of biological spills. This guide outlines the basic procedures for dealing with some of the biological spills of a known or potential biohazard and/or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules that may be encountered in a research laboratory. All lab personnel should refer to the laboratory specific spill response procedures before initiating their experiments.

Biosafety Level 1 (BL1) Spill

  • Notify others in the area, to prevent contamination of additional personnel and environment.
  • When BSL1 spills occur outside the lab (e.g. hallways, common rooms & corridors) report these BSL-1 spills to: (1) Lab Director (2) USF Biosafety Officer 974-5091
  • Remove any contaminated clothing and wash exposed skin with soap and water.

Clean-up of BL1 Spill

  • Wearing gloves and lab coat, cover spill with paper towels, pour disinfectant around the spill allowing it to mix with spilled material. Allow suitable contact time, at least 15 min.
  • Pick up any pieces of broken glass with forceps and place in a sharps container.
  • Discard all disposable materials used to clean up the spill into a biohazard bag.
  • Wash hands with soap and water.

Biosafety Level 2 (BL2) Spill

  • Notify others in the laboratory regarding the spill
  • Close door, and post with a warning sign.
  • Remove contaminated clothing, turning exposed areas inward, and place in a biohazard bag.
  • Wash all exposed skin with soap and water.
  • Inform Supervisor and/or Lab director and USF Biosafety Officer (974-5091)

Clean-up of BL2 Spill

  • Allow aerosols to disperse and or settle for at least 30 minutes before reentering the laboratory (if spill outside cabinet). Assemble clean-up materials (disinfectant, paper towels, biohazard bags, and forceps).
  • Put on protective clothing (lab coat, facemasks/face protection, utility gloves, and booties if necessary).
  • Cover the area with disinfectant-soaked towels, and then carefully pour disinfectant around the spill. Avoid enlarging the contaminated area. Use more concentrated disinfectant as it is diluted by the spill. Allow at least a 20 minute contact time.
  • Pick up any sharp objects with forceps, tongs or autoclavable dust pan and brush and discard in a sharps container.
  • Clean up the disinfectant and spill using mechanical means, such as an autoclavable broom and dustpan, since there may be sharps under the paper towels, and place the materials into a sharps container.
  • Smaller pieces of glass may be collected with cotton or paper towels held with forceps. If no sharps were involved in the spill discard the materials into an autoclave bag.
  • Wipe surrounding areas (where the spill may have splashed) with disinfectant.
  • Spray the area with 10% household bleach solution and allow to air-dry (or wipe down with disinfectant-soaked towels after a 20-minute contact time).
  • Place all contaminated paper towels and any contaminated protective clothing into a biohazard bag and autoclave.
  • Wash hands and exposed skin areas with soap and water.

Biohazard Spill Kit

It is recommended that a Biohazard Spill Kit be available in each area where there is potential for spills/releases of a biohazardous nature. Commercially prepared kits may be purchased through safety supply vendors or the individual laboratories may put together their own kits.

These kits should include, but are not limited to, such items as:

  • Concentrated disinfectant (e.g. bleach)
  • Paper towels or another suitable absorbent
  • Spray bottle (for mixing 10% bleach)
  • Biohazard/Autoclave bags
  • Sharps container (for contaminated broken glass or needles)
  • PPE (gloves, goggles, lab coat)
  • Forceps, tongs or dust pan and broom to pick up broken glass (Should be autoclavable or disposable)

This kit may be stored where chemical spill kits are located or where first aid kits are stored.