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The objective of Biosafety as a discipline is to guarantee the safe handling and containment of infectious microorganism and hazardous biological material. The basic principles were introduced in 1984. The fundamental practices of containment include,  according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009)  the microbiological practices, safety equipment, and facility safeguards that protect laboratory workers, the environment and the public from exposure to infectious microorganisms that are handled and stored in the laboratory. Due to new infectious agents and diseases have emerged in the last decades, it is compulsory to organizations and laboratory directors “to evaluate and ensure the effectiveness of their biosafety programs, the proficiency of their workers, the capability of equipment, facilities and management practices to provide containment and security of microbiological agents” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009, p. 1). 




To reduce risks when handling biosafety hazards it is essential to have adequate procedures and practices and the use of safety equipment. The laboratory director should ensure that the adequate equipment is provided and used properly. Some general principles suggested by the World Health Organization (2004) are:  

1) Limited or no contact between the operator and the infectious material 

2) Impermeable and resistant to corrosion materials. 

3) Free of burrs, sharp edges or unguarded moving parts. 

4) Ease of maintenance, cleaning, decontamination and certification. 




The basic biosafety equipment suggested by the World Health Organization (2004) includes: 

1. Pipetting aids: Many designs are available, follow this link to see the product 


2. Biosafety cabinets to be used when handling infectious materials, increasing risk or airborne infection, or producing aerosols. There are different types of Cabins: 

Cytotoxic Safety Cabinet 


3. Plastic disposable transfer loops.  



5. Autoclaves or other appropriate means to decontaminate infectious materials. There are many available autoclave, such as: 

Horizontal autoclave ( ) 

Horizontal plus vacuum autoclave 

Large horizontal autoclave ( ) 

Tabletop autoclave 

Vertical pressure autoclave ( 


6. Plastic disposable Pasteur pipettes, whenever available, to avoid glass. 

This article was published on Wednesday 30 May, 2018.