Biohazards

UNB Reference Number: 7835
Authorized by: E. Parr-Johnston, President,
Effective Date: (Original Policy Dec. 1/78)
Revised: April 2005
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Intent

To ensure that all users of biohazardous material meet the Health Canada, Medical Research Council (MRC) and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) guidelines.

Definition

Biohazards refer to plant, animal and human pathogens including certain forms of recombinant DNA which cause, or are reasonably believed to cause, disease. Pathogenic organisms are classified into four risk groups based upon the possibility for severity of disease.

Regulations

The use of all biohazardous material in University laboratories shall meet the requirements of the MRC/Health Canada publication "Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines" (2004) for safe handling, containment, facilities and training. The MRC and NSERC granting councils require adoption of these Guidelines for research funding.

Policy

  1. The Biohazards Safety Committee acts on behalf of the Vice-President (Research) and is responsible for ensuring appropriate protocols and facilities are in place for the use of biohazardous material. The Committee meets periodically to review grant applications, procedures and facilities.
  2. All applications for research funding must be accompanied by an "Application for Approval of Projects Involving Biohazards" which has been reviewed by the Biohazards Safety Committee and bears the signature of the applicant's department chairperson.
  3. Projects receiving Committee approval will be provided with a "Biohazards Containment Certification Report of the Biohazards Safety Committee" which is valid for two years and subject to an annual inspection of facilities.
  4. The principal investigator is responsible for implementing a biosafety program in his/her laboratory including the use of appropriate biosafety techniques, provision of appropriate containment levels and training.
  5. Containment facilities must be inspected and certified annually to the CSA Standard by a trained service technician. Records must be maintained.

Important

Permits are required for the importation of all human, animal and plant pathogens into Canada. Permits for human pathogens may be requested from: Director, Office of Biosecurity, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2, tel. : 613-957-1779. Permits for animal or plant pathogens may be requested from : Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 59 Camelot Drive, Nepean, Ontario K1A 0Y9, tel. : 613 952-8000. Permit applications must bear the signature of the applicant's department chairperson and the University Purchasing Manager.

Shipping

The transportation of biohazardous material in Canada is regulated by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Use of regular mail for shipment of pathogens is prohibited. Transportation by public carrier of Risk Group IV pathogens requires development of an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP). Prior to placing an order with the supplier, an ERAP must be filed with the Director General, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate, Transport Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5, tel. : 613-992-4624. Biohazardous material shall be shipped in CSA Standard packaging to prevent discharge during transport.

Disposal

  1. All biohazardous waste shall be rendered harmless, or non-infectious, by chemical decontamination or heat sterilization (autoclaving) and taken to the building's designated area for pick-up and disposal.
  2. Biomedical waste, such as sharps contaminated with human blood and body fluids, shall be collected in CSA Standard containers and taken to the building's designated area for pick-up and disposal.

Information

For application forms or contact with the Biohazards Safety Committee, contact the Office of Research Services.

For copies of the "Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines" or general information on biohazardous materials, contact the Safety Office.