Biosafety facilities handle or maintain risk-inherent microorganisms or organisms. Containment – a combination of facilities, practices, and procedures – is vital as it encompasses safe methods for working and managing the organisms and pathogens. 

Containment may vary and be different depending on the nature of work and organism involved, to ensure optimal protection to the researchers and the environment. 

According to the Dept. of Biotechnology in India, the levels of containment shall be determined based upon key factors as described below:

FACTORS IMPORTANCE
Physical containment To physically confine the organism under study to prevent or minimize its exposure to worker and environment ensuring the risk(s) can be prevented

or mitigated. 

  • Procedures provide the protection of personnel and the immediate laboratory environment from exposure to organisms,
  • Safety equipment contributes to personnel protection either directly or indirectly from the hazardous biological material, the use of appropriate instruments, and/or personal protective equipment (PPE),
  • Facility design is important in providing a barrier to protect not only to persons working in the facility, but also outside of the laboratory.
Biological containment Employing strategies that render an organism used for genetic engineering either incapable of survival in the open, or severely reduce its ability to survive, or reproduce in the open environment.
Lab Monitoring Laboratory monitoring is a systematic, regular, and preventive activity designed for corrective actions, if required.
Health & Medical Surveillance To prevent individuals from acquiring infection, early detection of infection, assessing the efficacy of protective equipment and procedures, and providing prophylactic vaccinations where needed.
Decontamination & Disposal Decontamination and disposal in laboratories are closely interrelated acts since disinfection or sterilization constitute the first phase of disposal. 

Source: DBT, India

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