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Since the mid 1990's OSHA's position has been that workers handling human cell cultures (primary or established) fall under the purview of the Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) Standard unless the cells have been tested and proven to be free of bloodborne pathogens. (See OSHA's website). Because it is difficult to have cells tested for all bloodborne pathogens and ensure that they are never contaminated with bloodborne pathogens during research, UNC has taken the position that work with ALL human cell lines (including established lines) fall under the requirements of the BBP standard.
Below, the specific changes are delineated for (1) individuals and (2) laboratories working with human blood, body fluids, tissues, cell cultures (primary or established).
Individuals working with human blood, body fluids, tissues, or cell cultures will now be asked to complete and document the following:
Laboratories currently working with human blood, body fluids, tissues, cell cultures in laboratories that have not been designated as Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) space will be asked to complete the UNC-CH BSL-2 Checklist -based on the CDC/NIH's BMBL 5th edition. The checklist can be completed by logging into the lab safety plan.
Handling human blood, body fluids, tissues and cell lines at BSL2 is not a new requirement. EHS laboratory inspectors have already begun to address these issues with laboratories during their lab inspections. We realize for some laboratories this will be a transition. Our staff is available to assist you with the transition by evaluating your laboratory space and providing guidance.