Environmental Health and Safety

Biological Spill

Notes and Precautions:    Biological spills outside biological safety cabinets could generate aerosols that can be dispersed in the air throughout the laboratory. To reduce the risk of inhalation exposure in such an incident, occupants should leave the laboratory immediately. The laboratory should not be re-entered to decontaminate and clean up the spill for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the aerosol will be removed from the laboratory by the exhaust air ventilation system. Appropriate protective equipment is particularly important in cleaning up spills involving microorganisms that require BL2 containment. This equipment includes lab coat with long sleeves, back-fastening gown and mask or full-face shield. Use of this equipment will prevent contact with contaminated surfaces and protect eyes and mucous membranes from exposure to splattered materials.

Spill Involving a Microorganism Requiring BL 1 Contamination

1.        Wear disposable gloves.

2.        Soak paper towels in disinfectant and place over spill area.

3.        Place towels in plastic bags for disposal.

4.        Clean spill area with fresh towels soaked in disinfectant.

Spill Involving a Microorganism Requiring BL 2 Contamination

1.        Alert people in the immediate area of the spill.

2.        Put on protective equipment.

3.        Cover spill with paper towels or other absorbent materials.

4.        Carefully pour a freshly prepared 1 in 10 dilution of household bleach around the                       
         edge of the spill and then into the spill. Avoid splashing.

5.        Allow a 20 minute contact period.

6.        Use paper towels to wipe up the spill, working from the edges to the center.

7.        Clean the spill area with fresh towels soaked in disinfectant.

8.        Place towels in a plastic bag and decontaminate in an autoclave.