Laboratory security and emergency response guidance for laboratories working with select agents
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Laboratory security and emergency response guidance for laboratories working with select agents

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  • Description:
    In recent years, concern has increased regarding use of biologic materials as agents of terrorism, but these same agents are often necessary tools in clinical and research microbiology laboratories. Traditional biosafety guidelines for laboratories have emphasized use of optimal work practices, appropriate containment equipment, well-designed facilities, and administrative controls to minimize risk of worker injury and to ensure safeguards against laboratory contamination. The guidelines discussed in this report were first published in 1999 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/CDC and National Institutes of Health. Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories [BMBL]. Richmond JY, McKinney RW, eds. 4th ed. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999 [Appendix F]). In that report, physical security concerns were addressed, and efforts were focused on preventing unauthorized entry to laboratory areas and preventing unauthorized removal of dangerous biologic agents from the laboratory. Appendix F of BMBL is now being revised to include additional information regarding personnel risk assessments, and inventory controls. The guidelines contained in this report are intended for laboratories working with select agents under biosafety-level 2, 3, or 4 conditions as described in Sections II and III of BMBL. These recommendations include conducting facility risk assessments and developing comprehensive security plans to minimize the probability of misuse of select agents. Risk assessments should include systematic, site-specific reviews of 1) physical security; 2) security of data and electronic technology systems; 3) employee security; 4) access controls to laboratory and animal areas; 5) procedures for agent inventory and accountability; 6) shipping/transfer and receiving of select agents; 7) unintentional incident and injury policies; 8) emergency response plans; and 9) policies that address breaches in security. The security plan should be an integral part of daily operations. All employees should be well-trained and equipped, and the plan should be reviewed annually, at least.
  • Content Notes:
    prepared by Jonathan Y. Richmond, Shanna L. Nesby-O'Dell. The material in this report originated in the Office of Health and Safety. Includes bibliographical references (p. 5-6).
  • Source:
    MMWR. Recommendations and reports : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Recommendations and reports / Centers for Disease Control. 2002; 51(RR-19):1-6.
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