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Biosafety Level

ATCC scientist in biosafety level suit with respirator working at biosafety cabinet.

Biosafety is the application of safety precautions that reduce a user’s risk of exposure to a potentially infectious material and limit contamination of the work environment and the community. There are four biosafety levels (BSL). Each level has specific controls for containment of the material.

  • BSL-1 products are material not known to consistently cause disease in immunocompetent adult humans and that present minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment.
  • Products designated by ATCC as BSL-2 are material associated with human disease and pose moderate hazards to personnel and the environment.
  • BSL-3 material are indigenous or exotic agents that may cause serious or potentially lethal disease through the inhalation route of exposure.
  • ATCC does not distribute Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) products.

ATCC products and materials are distributed with the condition that customers are responsible for their safe storage, handling, and use. ATCC is not liable for damages or injuries resulting from the receipt and/or use of ATCC products and materials. 

ATCC has classified products and materials by biosafety level for the purposes of packaging for safe shipment. ATCC determines the biosafety level of a product or material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All infectious materials should be handled under the supervision of a competent and knowledgeable scientist. It is the responsibility of ATCC customers to understand the hazards associated with the product or material per your organization's policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by the local or national agencies.