White paper identifies challenges in working with BSL-2+

A new white paper distributed by Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., aims to assist companies in the implementation of BSL-2+ practices and procedures in laboratory facilities.

The paper, titled "A Practical Guide to Implementing a BSL-2+ Biosafety Program in Laboratories," was developed using a previously conducted EH&E client survey. The survey utilized data from academic, biotechnology and healthcare institutions.

BSL-2+ facilities describe laboratories that work with microorganisms in a BSL-2 setting, but with BSL-3 biosafety practices and procedures. In some of the cases, risk assessments have determined that safety practices above BSL-2 are needed, but a more complex laboratory facility is not.

"The fact that BSL-2+ is not a recognized containment level in biosafety guidance documents makes it challenging for research institutions to determine when to use this hybrid approach and which biosafety practices to use," Betsy Gilman Duane of EH&E said. "We've found that there is limited information available on this topic and developed the paper to serve as an additional resource for research institutions looking to create a BSL-2+ laboratory facility."

The white paper identifies several areas of concern that institutions have determined to be the most challenging, including determining what projects require BSL-3 practices, ensuring that staff are properly trained to work in a BSL-3 environment and ensuring that a project-specific standard operating procedure is developed.