Biological Safety

Providing support, in the form of risk assessment, review, consultation and training, for research at UC Berkeley that involves the use of recombinant DNA, biohazardous materials and biological toxins.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Labs

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions for performing experiments or processes that involve hazards (chemical, physical, biological, radiation). SOPs are lab-specific and include documentation of the people who have received training for that procedure.

New students and employees working in your lab should be provided with hands-on training for hazardous materials and operations that are covered by the SOPs for your lab.

SOPs by Hazard Type General Lab Safety

A library of SOP templates for common hazardous chemicals and operations is available in the...

Olga Draper

Assistant Biosafety Officer
Lab Safety

Needlestick from Regular Trash

July 31, 2005
What Happened?

An employee in Campus Recycling & Refuse Services was stuck by a needle while emptying trash bags from a dumpster behind Wellman Hall. The incident happened early in the morning, and the employee sought immediate off-site medical care. A physician dispensed antiretrovirals for a possible Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) exposure, and the employee was very concerned that he might have been infected with a life-threatening disease.

The employee’s supervisor had saved the trash bag, and employees from the Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH...

My lab has a permit to work with “select agents.” What Federal Agency regulations must I meet to determine whether a permit to transfer is required?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the USDA are Federal Agencies that authorize the use and transfer of Select Agents and Toxins. Please note that even when not required to request a permit to transfer, you may still be required to meet other notification filings. After determining permit requirements, the transport of select agents and toxins are subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)...

How do I properly clean a lab or shop for deactivation?

Lab and shop deactivation is dependent on the history of work or research conducted in the space.

Chemical decontamination of spaces and equipment may be done by the following personnel:

Laboratory supervisors, researchers, or investigators who can effectively disinfect the equipment themselves and provide certification by signing EH&S’ Facilities/Equipment Decontamination Clearance Certification. Hazardous Materials contractors approved to provide such services to the campus, managed by EH...

Recombinant DNA Training for Research Group Members Template

Chips (Toan) Hoai

Principal Investigators (PIs) whose research involves recombinant DNA are required by NIH to provide their research group members training on lab-specific hazards and emergency procedures. The UC Berkeley Biosafety Program ( has prepared this PowerPoint presentation template to assist PIs in meeting this requirement.

Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) Application Form - UC Berkeley

Office of Environment, Health & Safety

Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) is defined as life sciences research that, based on current understanding,
can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly
misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural
crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.

Biological Spill Kit Instructions

Chips (Toan) Hoai
When a biological spill occurs Alert people in the immediate area. Check yourself for contamination. Assess the situation: Are you wearing all of the necessary PPE to clean this spill? Cover the spill and the area around the spill with absorbent material. Pour freshly made 10% bleach on absorbent materials in a spiral motion, starting from the outside of the spill working your way into the center. Allow a 20-minute contact period. Wipe down any contaminated stationary equipment or furniture with an appropriate disinfectant. Use forceps, tongs, or broom to remove...

West Nile Virus

Office of Environment, Health & Safety

West Nile (WN) virus originated in remote areas of Africa, Asia, eastern Europe, and the Middle East. It is transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus was first detected in the United States in New York City in 1999. Usually people and animals that are infected with the virus show no symptoms or suffer only mild illness. In rare cases, the virus can cause a more serious condition called encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal. Individuals over the age of 50 have the highest risk for encephalitis caused by WN virus.