Biosafety Containment Level
The term “containment” is used to describe safe methods for managing infectious agents
and organisms containing recombinant DNA molecules in the laboratory environment.
The purpose of containment is to reduce or eliminate exposure of laboratory workers,
other persons, and the outside environment to potentially hazardous materials. The
elements of containment include laboratory practices, containment equipment, and special
laboratory design. A risk assessment specific to the work to be conducted with the
agent will determine the appropriate containment level.
The Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition (December
2009) manual describes four levels of general containment in Section IV on pages 41-71.
Additionally, this same manual provides guidance on Animal Biosafety Containment levels
located in Section V on pages 72-114. If the research activities involve recombinant
DNA it is also advised to review the guiding principles outlined for containment levels
in the NIH guidelines. General biocontainment levels are outlined in Appendix G, the animal biocontainment
levels are outlined in Appendix Q, and the plant biocontainment levels are outlined
in Appendix P of the NIH guidelines. OSU does not allow any research to be conducted
at a BSL-4 containment level.