Research at the new lab space that will utilize biological agents classified as BSL-2 or above must be approved in advance by the University’s Administrative Panel on Biosafety (APB). Animal-related research must also be pre-approved by the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care (APLAC).

Laboratories which currently utilize biological materials must notify the EH&S Biosafety Program prior to terminating work to ensure that the laboratory has been decontaminated and that the biological material has been secured or properly disposed. If the PI intends to cease work, he or she must notify the Biosafety Program at least 60 days prior to the set departure/closing date. This will allow the Biosafety Program to consult with the PI and perform a walkthrough of the lab to provide recommendations on the most expeditious way to prepare for the move and the final termination of the biohazardous work in the lab. A final Lab Deactivation Inspection will be scheduled accordingly.

Additional information related to lab deactivation and decontamination can be found in the University’s Biosafety Manual.

Removal of Unwanted Biological Materials and Wastes from Labs

  • Account for all specimens stored outside the lab room. Specimens stored in a cold room or an incubator in an adjacent tissue culture room should be autoclaved or disposed of in a red bag.
  • Medical waste such as used sharps containers or red bags must be disposed of and the storage areas for the medical waste cleaned with a suitable disinfectant prior to moving day.
  • Biological waste will be picked-up according to normal procedures by the University’s contracted vendor, Stericycle.
  • Lab personnel should notify EH&S if an unusually large amount of waste, such as discarded samples, will be disposed to schedule a non-routine pick-up. Waste labeling and packaging requirements will not differ from those normally used.
  • Lab personnel must remove or deface all biohazard stickers and signs after the lab has been decontaminated.

Transporting Biohazards

With the exception of materials stored in -80 degree freezers, biohazardous materials must be packed and transported on-campus by designated lab personnel only. Vendors are not allowed to transport these materials.

Tissue Culture Transfers

Users should transfer cultures to back-up incubators prior to beginning the procedures listed below.

  • If applicable, transportation and reconnection of incubators will be done in two stages so cultures can remain in back-up incubators until incubators in the new lab space have been installed and activated.
  • Schedules should include detailed timing of disconnecting, draining, and reconnecting incubators.  \\
  • Users will drain and decontaminate incubators, and prepare them for moving.
  • CO2 tanks should be in place in the new lab space and ready for connection to incubators.
  • Users will be responsible for refilling incubators with water at the new lab space.

Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs)

Biosafety cabinets must be disinfected and certified by the university’s contracted vendor prior to the move date. The vendor will post a copy of the certification on the BSC once the disinfection in complete. The vendor must also certify any new or reinstalled BSCs at the new lab space prior to use. Users are responsible for removing all materials from BSCs and cleaning the work surface of any chemical residue prior to disinfection by the vendor.

Equipment and Work Surface Decontamination

  • Interiors and exteriors of equipment, including laminar flow hoods, and all work surfaces must be properly decontaminated and disinfected by lab personnel. Chemical disinfectants applied to the surface must be allowed enough time to inactivate potential contamination prior to final wipe down.
  • Contents of refrigerators and freezers must be transferred to ice chests and transported to the new lab by the users.
  • -80 degree freezers should be moved with contents in-place whenever possible as long as ice within the freezer does not melt. Freezers should be labeled with PACKED WITH CONTENTS. If, in the opinion of the lab users or mover, the freezers cannot or should not be moved fully packed, the users are responsible transferring contents to dry ice chests and transporting to the new lab.