Biohazardous Spills

All laboratories performing activities involving the use of biohazards should have the supplies necessary to respond to a biohazardous spill in one easily accessible location (e.g., under the sink) to minimize unnecessary foot traffic and prevent further contamination of the laboratory.

What do I need?

  • Extra PPE (clean lab coat, extra gloves)
  • Absorbent materials (e.g. paper towels, kitty litter)
  • Agent-appropriate disinfectant (e.g. concentrated bleach)
  • Biohazard bags
  • Broom and dustpan or other mechanical means of picking up broken glass
  • A laminated copy of the IBC-approved spill response procedures

What do I do?

In the event of a spill involving biohazards:

  • If any biohazardous material gets in your eyes, flush your eyes at the nearest eyewash station.
  • Remove contaminated clothing and wash any exposed body parts.
  • Notify others and denote the area of the spill.
  • Cover the spill with absorbent material.
  • Saturate the absorbent material with an approved disinfectant and allow sufficient contact time (i.e., 30 minutes).
  • After allowing sufficient contact time, gather bleach soaked materials and place into the regular trash.
  • Pick up disinfected broken glass with a broom and dustpan or forceps and place into a broken glass container.
  • Make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Repeat cleaning if necessary.

Whom do I contact?

Always report spills or incidents to your principal investigator or lab supervisor.

Any spill involving recombinantly modified agents or Risk Group 2 materials that occurs outside of a biosafety cabinet must be reported to the Biosafety program.