October 2018 marks the 5th anniversary of Biosafety Month, an annual opportunity to highlight safe research practices for professionals working with biological materials.
The theme of Biosafety Month 2018 is “Promoting a Culture of Biosafety and Responsibility.” Here at Princeton, a culture of safety in biological research centers around:
- Supporting researchers to take an active role in biosafety efforts in their laboratories
- Partnering with University leadership to advocate for biosafety programs
- Promoting the development of comprehensive biosafety standard operating procedures
- Highlighting successes in the conduct of ethical and safe research
- Promoting transparent and comprehensive oversight of the program by the Institutional Biosafety Committee
Your primary resource for information on working safely with biohazardous materials is the Princeton EHS website, ehs.princeton.edu. The section on biological safety contains information on best practices, as well as on planning for and mitigating hazards.
As part of Biosafety Month, we’re highlighting a few best practices for researchers who work with biological materials.
Register Your Research with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
Your research with potentially infectious agents, organisms or materials, human-derived materials biological toxins, organisms containing recombinant DNA and other genetically altered organisms and agents must be registered with and approved by the IBC.
Work Safely in a Biosafety Cabinet
Check Before You Ship or Import Biohazardous Materials
EHS should be consulted in all instances of shipping or importing biohazardous materials.
EHS staff is trained to ship materials defined as Dangerous Goods under federal law. If you are unsure as to whether your shipment is considered hazardous, contact EHS. The Hazardous Materials Shipping Request Form is the best way to notify us of a need to ship.
Exporting biohazardous materials may require prior written consent from the U.S. government. Contact Princeton’s export control officer at firstname.lastname@example.org before beginning the process of shipping any biohazardous material internationally.
Dispose of Biological Wastes Properly
Proper disposal of lab waste can be confusing. Check the EHS website or call us for information on categorizing, packaging and labeling waste materials that fall into the category of biohazardous or regulated medical waste
Gloves are Not Enough!
Wearing gloves is not a substitute for washing hands. Your hands can get contaminated when wearing or removing gloves. Washing your hands after glove removal can prevent the spread of organisms and viruses handled in the laboratory.