Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 14:12:15 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**>
From: "Hofstein, Hilary" <hhofstein**At_Symbol_Here**SIENA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Biosafety Level 2 bacteria use
In-Reply-To: <DD79CF9EA1A9BD4F953507E549F7CD02FE9020**At_Symbol_Here**SV-EXCH-IRISV2.VGTIFL.ORG>

I was also interested in seeing the responses to Barry's question.  I'd like to ask a question related to this topic.  I work at an undergraduate institution where undergraduate research is encouraged.  We are currently reviewing and tweaking our biosafety policy.  We have faculty who wish to use Risk Group 2 organisms (primarily human cell lines) in the teaching laboratories.  Could anyone give their opinion or share their thoughts or academic institution policies on this issue?  I would appreciate any insight that you could give me.


Hilary Hofstein
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Coordinator
Radiation Safety Officer/Biological Safety Officer
Siena College
515 Loudon Rd.
Loudonville, NY  12211-1462

From: Beth Welmaker >
Reply-To: DCHAS-L >
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:27:45 -0400
To: "DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU" >
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Biosafety Level 2 bacteria use

Hello Barry,
I have been enjoying reading the responses to your post and I am glad you reached out.
I would like to clarify a point.  Organisms are not defined by the space in which they are handled.
They are assigned a Risk Group.  So, in this example, we would say that S. aureus is a RG2, (which you can look up on the ABSA site

It is a small distinction, but an important one.

The biosafety level can change depending on how the organism will be handled.  Some RG2 infectious agents may require a higher biosafety level which is determined by the Risk Assessment (such as if you intend to aerosolize them, they may need BSL3).   RG2 does not always equal BSL2.  And RG3 does not always mean it must be in BSL3.

I hope this makes sense.  When working with your lab staff, teach them to reference the agents by their Risk Group!

Good luck!

Beth Welmaker, CCHO, MS
Environmental Health & Safety Manager

Translating Research Into Health
11350 SW Village Parkway - Third Floor
Port Saint Lucie, FL  34987

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ferm Barret A
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 10:58 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Biosafety Level 2 bacteria use

We have a push for undergrad research (at our primarily undergrad institution), and a student wants to work with a Level 2 organism (Staph. aureus) under the supervision of our cell biologist.  This will be the first time a non-faculty member has worked directly with a level 2 organism here.  Please share thoughts about whether this is/is not advisable, the relative risks, etc.  Being the first time this has come up, we are in a position to formulate our policy.  Many thanks.

Barry Ferm
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Biology & Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator
St. Ambrose University

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