A. Regulation

Biosafety level 2 practices and containment must be followed when handling human or non-human primate materials. The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) applies to all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Under the OSHA BBP Standard, employers are required to develop a written Exposure Control Plan, offer employees the hepatitis B vaccination, and provide annual training. 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. For more information on the impact of the OSHA BBP standard on the laboratory setting at UNC, see the Lab Worker Exposure Control Plan.

B. Cultured Cells and Tissue

Cultured cells which are known to contain or be contaminated with a biohazardous agent (e.g. bacteria or viral) are classified in the same biosafety level as the agent. Cell lines that are not human or non-human primate cells and which do not contain known human or animal pathogens are designated biosafety level 1.

The following cells and tissue must be registered with EHS and handled at BSL2.

  • Human and non-human primate primary cells, established cell lines, and unfixed tissue
  • Cell lines exposed to or transformed by a human or primate oncogenic virus
  • Cells, cell lines or tissue infected with pathogens requiring BSL2 containment.