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  • OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th ed. (or latest), CDC-NIH
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 45, Fire Protection for Laboratories
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of Biological Safety Cabinets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, October 31, 1997, Federal Register, Vol. 62, No 211.
  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International Standard 49
All the biological research conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill involves low to moderate risk etiological agents as defined by the NIH. Section 1 of this Guide, General Requirements for UNC
Laboratories, covers all design requirements for Biosafety Level 1 laboratory work areas. This section focuses primarily on the biosafety considerations for a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory. Please see Biosafety Level 3 guidelines for BSL3 laboratories.
Air pressure in laboratories and animal care rooms should be negative in relation to the corridor or adjacent non-laboratory areas.

Potentially harmful aerosols can escape from the containment of the laboratory room unless the room air pressure is negative to adjacent non-laboratory areas. As a general rule, air should flow from low hazard to high hazard areas.

Tissue culture rooms should be negative with respect to adjoining areas.

An autoclave should be provided with a canopy hood with slotted exhaust or other suitable means of local exhaust. In addition, autoclave rooms should have a minimum of 10 air changes per hour.

Unpleasant heat and odors will linger in the room unless provided with effective local exhaust and
adequate frequency of air changes.


All cabinets must be NSF-listed, UL-approved, and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.

Cabinets, which when used and installed properly, will provide both product, environment and personnel protection.

For Biosafety Level 2 applications involving toxic chemicals or radionuclides, a Class II- B type cabinet must be installed.

Class II-B cabinets do not recirculate exhaust air and are appropriate for such uses. The exact type of BSC should be specified early in the design process.


Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) must be located away from doors and other high traffic areas.

Currents of air can disrupt and degrade the protective capability of the cabinet. All attempts should be made to neutralize any interference.

A biosafety cabinet should not be installed directly opposite of another biosafety cabinet if spatial considerations allow otherwise.

Laminar airflow is greatly hindered by the operation of a biosafety cabinet located directly opposite of another biosafety cabinet or autoclave.

Natural Gas

Open flames are not to be used in Biosafety Cabinets.


When initially installed or reinstalled, biosafety cabinets must be provided with an appropriate means of seismic stabilization.


Biological safety cabinets are to be certified as part of the building contract.

Remote HEPA Filtration Units in ductwork Remote HEPA filters must have provisions for testing and decontamination, with test ports before and after the HEPA, isolation dampers, and decontamination ports according to the drawing.

Remote HEPA Filtration Unit


Laboratory designs must include an autoclave for sterilizing media, lab instruments, and medical waste as necessary.

An autoclave is required since heat and pressure can kill potentially infectious spores that resist other disinfectants. The autoclave need not be in the actual lab room, however should be available on the floor.