Ways of Protecting Yourself From Acquiring Infection

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Post on 22-Oct-2014




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Store all waste in containers that are in good condition and are compatible with their contents. Clearly and permanently label each container as to its contents and label as hazardous waste (refer section titled How Should Chemical Containers Be Labeled? for specific information). Store waste in a designated area away from normal laboratory operations and to prevent unauthorized access. Store waste bottles away from sinks and floor drains. Do not completely fill waste bottles; leave several inches of space at the top of each waste container. Cap all waste bottles. Purchase chemicals in the smallest quantity needed. Use safer chemical substitutes/alternatives such as chemicals which have been determined to be less harmful or toxic (Table 1 contains examples). Use micro scale experiments. Chemical experiments using smaller quantities of chemicals Recycle chemicals by performing cyclic experiments where one product of a reaction becomes the starting material of the following experiment. Consider detoxification or waste neutralization steps. Use interactive teaching software and demonstration videos in lieu of experiments that generate large amounts of chemical waste. Perform classroom demonstrations. Use preweighed or premeasured chemical packets such as chemcapsules that reduce bulk chemical disposal problems (no excess chemicals remain).


Good microbiological technique is fundamental to laboratory safety. The use of safety equipment, combined with good procedures and practices, will help to reduce the risks involved in dealing with biosafety hazards. The most important concepts are outlined below.

Standard precautions should always be followed; barrier protection (gowns, gloves) should be used whenever samples are obtained from patients. In addition to these standard precautions, eyes should be protected Basic containment Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) practices and procedures should be the minimum requirement for handling specimens (see WHO laboratory biosafety manual, 3rd edition). Examples of routine laboratory procedures that require BSL2 include: - routine diagnostic testing of serum and blood samples (including haematology and clinical chemistry); - manipulations involving neutralized or inactivated (lysed, fixed, or otherwise treated) virus particles and/or incomplete, non-infectious portions of the viral genome; - final packaging of specimens for transport to diagnostic laboratories for additional testing; specimens should already be in a sealed, decontaminated primary container.

Good laboratory practices should be followed. Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics, and handling contact lenses are prohibited in the laboratory working areas. Personal protective equipment (gown, gloves, eye protection) should be worn in the laboratory when handling and processing specimens and performing diagnostic testing. All technical procedures should be performed in a way that minimizes the formation of aerosols and droplets. Biological safety cabinets or other physical containment devices should be used for all manipulations that may cause splashes, droplets, or aerosols of infectious materials (e.g. centrifugation, grinding, blending, vigorous shaking or mixing, sonic disruption, opening of containers of infectious materials whose internal pressure may be different from the ambient pressure). The use of hypodermic needles and syringes should be limited. They must not be used as substitutes for pipetting devices or for any purpose other than parenteral injection or aspiration of fluids from laboratory animals. Mouth pipetting must be strictly forbidden. Adequate and conveniently located biohazard containers should be available for disposal of contaminated materials. Work surfaces must be decontaminated after any spill of potentially dangerous material and at the end of the working day. Generally, freshly prepared bleach solutions1 are appropriate for dealing with bio-hazardous spillage. More information on disinfection and sterilization is provided in the WHO laboratory biosafety manual. Personnel must wash their hands often especially after handling infectious materials and animals, before leaving the laboratory working areas, and before eating. Personal protective equipment must be removed before leaving the laboratory. Any procedure that may generate aerosols or droplets should be performed in a biological safety cabinet (e.g. sonication, vortexing). Laboratory workers should wear protective equipment, including disposable gloves, solid-front or wrap-around gowns, scrub suits, or coveralls with sleeves that fully cover the forearms, head coverings and, where appropriate, shoe covers or dedicated shoes, eye protection and a surgical mask, or full-face shield, because of the risk of aerosol or droplet exposure when performing specific manipulations. Centrifugation of specimens should be performed using sealed centrifuge rotors or sample cups. These rotors or cups should be unloaded in a biological safety cabinet. Work surfaces and equipment should be decontaminated after specimens are processed. Standard decontamination agents that are effective against non-enveloped viruses should be adequate if used according to the manufacturers recommendations. Generally, freshly prepared bleach solutions1 are appropriate for dealing with biohazardous spillage. More information on disinfection and sterilization is provided in the WHO laboratory biosafety manual.

Biological waste contaminated with suspect or confirmed influenza A/H5 specimens, should be treated as outlined in the WHO laboratory biosafety manual.