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Clean Benches

A clean bench has horizontal laminar air flow. The HEPA-filtered air flows across the work surface towards the operator, providing protection for the product, but no protection for the user. Because clean benches offer no protection, use a clean bench only to prepare sterile media. Do not use clean benches when working with pathogenic organisms, biological materials, chemicals, or radioactive materials.

11. Importing and Shipping Biological Materials

The Public Health Service provides Foreign Quarantine regulations for importing etiologic gents and human disease vectors. Other regulations for packaging, labeling, and shipping, are administered jointly by the Public Health Service and the Department of Transportation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the importation and shipment of animal pathogens. It prohibits the importation, possession, and use of certain animal disease agents that pose a serious threat to domestic livestock and poultry. Contact your safety officer to assist you or to answer questions.

12. Biological Spill Response

The exact procedure for responding to a biological spill depends on the material, amount, and location of the spill.

In general, follow these steps immediately after a biological spill occurs:

  1. Warn others.
  2. Leave the room; close the door.
  3. Remove contaminated garments.
  4. Wash your hands.
  5. Notify your supervisor.

Follow these steps to clean up a biological spill:

  1. Wait for any aerosols to settle (usually 15-20 minutes).
  2. Put on protective clothing, as appropriate.
  3. Apply disinfectant to the contaminated area.
  4. Cover the area with paper towels to absorb the disinfectant.
  5. Wipe up the towels and mop the floor.
  6. Autoclave all contaminated wastes.

NOTE: Spill cleanup must be appropriate for the hazards involved. Call your component's Safety Officer for assistance.

If a spill occurs inside a biological safety cabinet, follow these steps:

  1. Decontaminate materials while the cabinet is operating to prevent contaminants from escaping.
  2. Spray or wipe all affected equipment with an appropriate disinfectant. (Wear gloves while doing this.)
  3. If the spill is large, flood the work surface with disinfectant and allow it to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it.