Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Biological Safety Level

  • Catharine A. Conley
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_179-2

Synonyms

BSL

Definition

The Biological Safety Level (BSL) is used in the USA to describe a set of specifications for the precautions required to isolate potentially hazardous biological agents in a containment facility at a specified stringency, ranging from BSL-1, which indicates the least strict containment, to BSL-4, which is the containment required for the most hazardous human pathogens. A similar scale is used in the EU using the abbreviation P1-P4, where P indicates either Pathogen or Protection. For instance, a BSL-4 laboratory (P4 in Europe) is under reduced pressure relative to atmospheric pressure, the exhausted air is filtered, and all wastes including water and any hardware leaving the high-containment area are sterilized chemically or by heating. Trained personnel work inside the area in protective suits, overpressurized by air pumped in from outside through a dedicated system. The exterior of the suit is chemically disinfected when workers leave the area.

Keywords

Bioorganic Chemistry Biological Agent Human Pathogen Safety Level Similar Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA HeadquartersWashingtonUSA