From: Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] low pressure spraying of potentially biohazardous materials
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:03:30 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAAszpkzxnJzYy_9at_y21dmKiUgUetub48ivm2fs1owFOH4pnQ**At_Symbol_Here**

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for the explanation of 'pobio'--it is not a term I had heard before. Is the term only used when working with human/non-human primate source material (i.e., synovial fluid, cells, sera, etc?) I ask because that material--along with many common infectious agents (staph, strep)--are considered Risk Group 2 (RG2) and require BSL2 practices. However, Risk Group 3 (RG3) agents, like TB, are transmitted via aerosol--RG2 agents are not known to be infectious by the inhalation route.

However, even with the article you cite, the BMBL requires that containment practices/equipment be used with BSL2 materials (and suggests minimizing aerosols even with BSL1 materials) because aerosols settle on surfaces. The surface might be an instrument panel, a lever, a lab bench--then transmission via oral/mucous membranes may occur. You might be interested in how even BSL1 (noninfectious to humans) material--pork brains-- apparently was the cause of peripheral neuropathy in a few workers (different plants, even) in pork abbatoirs when it was aerosolized

"Workers removed brains by using compressed air that liquefied brain and generated aerosolized droplets, exposing themselves and nearby workers. " see Workers affected by Pork Brain Aerosol

I don't know how closely your 'spraying' process mimics a dental drill in scope, but then I do not have a clear picture of your process, either. I do think it could be very worthwhile to follow up with either Patty Olinger or else to contact ABSA (the American Biological Safety Association) if you would like to find a Certified Biosafety Professional (CBSP) to consult further on this. They can have a much better understanding of the applicable regulatory issues when they can communicate with you and understand more about the process. Disclosure-I am a member of ABSA but not a CBSP, and have no financial involvement with any biosafety consultants.

Here's the link to ABSA's webpage:
American Biological Safety Association

Good luck with everything!
The above is my personal opinion only, not legal or business advice, and may not reflect the views of my employer or any organization to which I belong.

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM, Kathy Rusniak <kathy**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Thank you Margaret.

For "pobio" I was referring to potentially biohazardous materials. Apologies for the confusion. And yes, they are being sprayed on purpose. I was referencing the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen guidance and hadn't looked at the BMBL. I appreciate you forwarding the link. Interestingly enough, another CDC resource (that does specifically mention aerosolization of viral particles) seems to attribute minor significance to the potential risk involved.

I was hoping someone would have some direct experience with this issue to help clarify the regulatory requirements/expectations.


Kathy Rusniak
Research Engineer
Evanston, IL 60201

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM, Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I am a bit confused and am not sure from your posting if you are thinking of a process where these materials are purposely sprayed (can't imagine what that could be, but...) or are inadvertently sprayed (i.e., from pipetting, or from a tube which breaks in a centrifuge without safety rotors, etc.) I am also not sure whether "pobio" is a typo or a word I just don't know, BUT--

The CDC publishes the BMBL, which pretty much is THE biolab safety standard. Here is what they say (BMBL 5 sect IV BSL2) about BSL2 lab practices and aerosols: "all procedures in which infectious aerosols or splashes may be created are conducted in BSCs or other physical containment equipment." BSL2 rated work is with those organisms which are known to be infectious through ingestion, or contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose), or breaks in the skin. It doesn't include organisms known to be infectious through respiratory exposure (such as tuberculosis), as those are RG3 materials which require BSL3 lab facilities and practices, which are more restrictive...

Maybe you're familiar with (or can recite whole passages in your sleep!) the BMBL, but here is a link


On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM, Kathy Rusniak <kathy**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

I'm researching the hazards and regulations governing the spraying of potentially biohazardous materials. So far I'm finding that aerosolization of pobio liquids is not considered a likely route of distributing viral particles (Hepatitis, HIV, etc), at least regarding existing technologies (such as dialysis) that have been studied. Does anyone have experience with this issue or know of specific regulations or sources of information that relate to this issue?

Thank you,

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