Carnegie Mellon University

Standards for Biology Teaching Labs

In 2013, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) finalized guidelines to standardize safety practices in biological teaching laboratories.  Prior to the publication of these guidelines, educators and institutions determined the extent and scope of their safety programs on an individual basis, resulting in inconsistency and varying levels of biological safety.  In response to the laboratory-associated Salmonella infections occurring from 2010 to 2011, the Education Board of the ASM charged a task force to develop a uniform set of biosafety guidelines for working in teaching laboratories.  Guidelines created by this task force follow the same vein as the safety requirements found in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC)'s Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL),  for both biosafety level  1 (BSL-1) and biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) labs.   Designed for ease of use and to offer educators a clear and consistent way to safely work in biological teaching laboratories, these guidelines present a list of best practices that Carnegie Mellon University’s laboratories seek to follow.