Biological Safety Level (BSL) is a biocontainment designation system with requirements intended to protect personnel from potentially harmful pathogenic exposure in a research or manufacturing environment.
What are the differences among the BSL designations?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) specifies four broad Biological Safety Levels, each of which corresponds to a level of exposure danger and a set of design features and operational protocol. Each increasing level builds on the previous level(s):
BSL-1: Required in the presence of microbes that do not consistently cause disease, such as E. coli. Work can be done on an open bench, and minimal Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Doors separate the BSL-1 lab from the rest of the facility.
Many manufacturers face the challenge of maintaining sterile products and processes. In most cases, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Highly effective sterilization technologies like ethylene oxide gas (EtO) or hydrogen peroxide vapor carry substantial risk and often come at a high cost. Frequent manual wipe-down with IPA or other cleaning agents is much less expensive but introduces difficulties related to operator training and process documentation and consistency. In many cases, the challenge amounts to managing multiple technologies that provide microbial control throughout widely differing processes—while minimizing costly disruptions for bioburden testing or decontamination routines.
Fortunately, ultraviolet sanitizing technology provides a range of safe, cost-effective disinfection measures that simplify this task, whether employed as a stand-alone measure or as part of a broader
Manufacturers invest hundreds—even thousands—of dollars per square foot of cleanroom space to meet ISO-proscribed particle counts. Shouldn't the same standards be required of the people who enter and potentially contaminate this ultra-clean environment?
Proper cleanroom garments, including hoods, face masks, booties and gloves, help to contain particles that people emit. Yet improper gowning procedures can negate your investment in cleanliness and threaten yields of sensitive semiconductor devices. Once a garment is contaminated—violated by contact with a dirty surface—it spreads particles everywhere it goes.
You can train personnel on proper garmenting procedures, but how do you guarantee compliance? A violated garment doesn't set off alarms, and few facilities can afford quality control monitors to supervise every person through every washing and dressing stage. Yet if strict controls are not obser