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Classification of laboratories according to use


It is generally accepted that three or four kinds of microbiology laboratories are required. In the WHO classification these are; Biosafety Level 1 to 4 for Risk Groups 1 to 4 microorganisms respectively.

Biosafety level

                                                                    1             2             3             4

Isolation of laboratory                                 No         No             Op          Yes

Room sealable for decontamination             No         No             Yes         Yes


inward air flow                                            No         Op             Yes         Yes

mechanical via building system                     No         Op             Op          No

mechanical, independent                             No          No             Op         Yes

filtered air exhaust                                      No          No             Op         Yes

Double door entry                                     No           No             Yes        Yes

Airlock                                                     No           No              No         Yes

Airlock with shower                                 No           No               No         Yes

Effluent treatment                                     No           No                No         Yes

Autoclave on site                                    Yes            Yes            Yes        Yes

in laboratory room                                  No             No             Yes         Yes

double ended                                         No              No             Op         Yes

Biological safety cabinets

Classes I or II                                       No             Yes             Yes         Op

Class III                                               No             No              Op          Yes

A problem which should be mentioned is that although these classifications may be reasonable for clinical and research laboratories, they are hardly applicable to many industrial, food science and agricultural laboratories.  

Animal House Containment and biosafety levels

The rules for animal houses parallel those for laboratories. Consideration should be given to the requirements of individual species such as their behavior, zoonoses and parasites.  

Level 1 As for Level 1 laboratories plus limited access, arthropod control, protective clothing and gloves
Level  2 As for Level 1 laboratories and animal houses plus decontamination of waste and cages before washing, microbiological safety cabinets and personal protection devices
Level 3 As for Level 2 laboratories and animal houses plus controlled access
Level 4 As for Level 3 laboratories and animal houses plus strictly limited access, waste decontaminated before removal, and clothes changing room and shower

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The Safe Working Environment