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IBC17- Laboratory Decommissioning
The Principal Investigator of a laboratory that contains biohazardous
agents must make certain that all biohazardous agents are removed
when vacating a laboratory to ensure that the area is risk free for cleanup by Environmental Service personnel and new individuals relocating
into the area.
All Principal Investigators (PI) and supervisors vacating a laboratory
containing biohazardous agents.
Biohazardous materials - defined as materials of biological origin that
have the capacity to produce deleterious effects on humans or animals
including: recombinant DNA molecules; micro-organisms containing
recombinant DNA molecules; micro-organisms classified as risk group
2 (RG-2) or RG-3 agents (RG-4 agents should not be intentionally
propagated on the UNMC campus); biological products derived from
RG-2 or RG-3 microorganisms; diagnostic specimens known or
reasonably expected to contain pathogens in RG-2 or RG-3; and
clinical/medical waste derived from the medical treatment of humans
or animals or from biomedical research.
Risk Group 2 (RG-2) agent- biological agent associated with disease
which is rarely serious and for which preventative or therapeutic
interventions are often available [moderate individual and low
community risk].
Risk Group 3 (RG-3) agent - biological agent that is associated with
serious or lethal disease for which preventative or therapeutic
interventions may be available [high individual and moderate
community risk].
Select agent – biological agents and toxins that the HHS Secretary has
determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public
health and safety as listed in 42CRF Part 73.3 and Part 73.4.
When vacating a laboratory the PI and/or supervisor is responsible to
1. identify all biohazardous materials present,
2. dispose of materials no longer needed using proper procedures for
the disposal of biohazardous waste (see IBC05, Biohazardous Waste
3. double bag and place into a closed container all biohazardous
materials to be transported to a new location on campus,
4. follow packaging procedures for materials to be transported off-site
as outlined in the Department of Transportation guidelines for the
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handling and transport of Dangerous Goods,
5. thoroughly decontaminate, using an appropriate disinfectant (10%
bleach is generally used except in places where other disinfectants have
been recognized as more effective) all areas that contained
biohazardous materials,
6. surface disinfect all equipment, whether transported or not (the
biohazard label on equipment [such as refrigerators or incubators]
should be removed after decontamination),
7. check for materials belonging to the PI in all common use
refrigerators and freezers and have these materials removed or if
maintained, properly labeled with the PIs name, date of storage, and
biohazardous agent(s) present,
8. have door signage removed by calling the Director of the Office of
Safety, and
9. contact the Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to the
relocation or termination of experiments to update the IBC protocol.
Special procedure for BSL-3 and ABSL-3 laboratories:
Prior to decommissioning of a high containment laboratory, the room
must be decontaminated by fumigation (see IBC14,
Paraformaldehyde Room and Biological Safety Cabinet
Special procedure for Select Agent-Registered Laboratories:
The select agent inventory record for the select agent-registered
laboratory will contain information on any select agent present within
the facility. These agents can either be decontaminated by autoclaving
(record information on the agents decontaminated [individual select
agents, number of containers removed, date autoclaved, and autoclave
cycle] or moved from the facility to another select agent-registered
laboratory on campus [sender and recipient are covered by the same
certificate of registration]. To transfer, an intra-facility transfer form is
completed to record the select agent, the quantity transferred, the date
of transfer, the sender, and the recipient [see SA25, Intra-Facility
Transfer of Select Agents or Toxins]). All select agents (whether
cultures or tissues containing viable select agents) must be either
decontaminated or transferred.
For the removal of select agents, complete the Intra-entity Transfer
The Primary Investigator is responsible to ensure that all biohazardous
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materials are removed prior to vacating a laboratory.
Investigators relocating off-campus or leave the University who plan to
transport biohazardous materials must comply with all DOT, Public
Health Service, and USDA requirements for the transport of infectious
Investigators who are retiring and thus vacate a laboratory must
provide a means to transfer important materials to collaborating
researchers or decontaminate materials no longer needed for future
studies [this includes materials held in long-term storage].
CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories,
5th Edition, 2007
Updated: July 21, 2015
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