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POLICY LIBRARY
POLICY
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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Activities Involving Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents

Effective Date: January 2004
Last Update: June 2012
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Research
Policy Owner:
  • Director, Human Research Protection Program
  • Associate Director - Department of Environmental Health and Safety
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

All University faculty, staff and students must comply with federal and state regulations and University policies and procedures when conducting research and teaching activities with potentially hazardous biological agents. This includes review and approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and compliance with inventory, reporting, storage, transport, security, handling and disposal procedures.

Non-University entities renting, leasing or otherwise using University property, equipment or facilities, and that are using or storing biological material must notify the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS). Safety (DEHS). DEHS has the authority to prohibit unacceptable use and storage of materials.

This policy as it pertains to the review and approval by the IBC includes the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital and all hospitals owned by Fairview Health Services.

University as well as non-University entities using University property are subject to internal and external inspection of their storage, security, and handling facilities.

Recombinant DNA and Other Potentially Biohazardous Agents

Research involving the use of recombinant DNA and other potentially biohazardous agents is regulated by federal guidelines and state requirements. All recombinant DNA research must be conducted in accordance with the “NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules”. All research on potentially biohazardous agents must be done according to the NIH-CDC publication, “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” (BMBL). Such research is also subject to Administrative Procedure: Activities Involving Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents,including review and approval by the IBC.

All University faculty, staff or students must obtain Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval for their biohazardous research projects or other activities prior to initiation.

IBC approvals for each project are valid for three years and are subject to annual continuing review and approval. Approved protocols are also subject to the University of Minnesota's post approval verification, evaluation and inspection programs. Any changes to research protocols must be approved by the IBC before initiation.

Biological material must be handled according to the practices and procedures defined by the current edition of the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL)

All biological material must be stored in a secure manner.

All persons working with potentially hazardous biological agents must be appropriately trained for use of the agents with which they are working or to which they are potentially exposed.

Select Agents

Select Agents are potentially hazardous biological materials and as such are subject to University Procedure and must be approved by the IBC. Persons using, storing, or transferring Select Agents must follow additional procedures described in Administrative Procedure: Additional Procedures for Storing and Using Select Agents.

REASON FOR POLICY

This administrative policy implements Board of Regents' Policy: Activities Involving Recombinant DNA or Other Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents. In addition, the University has the responsibility to protect researchers, the University community and its assets, and the environment, by assuring the safe use and storage of potentially hazardous biological material in research or teaching at the University. The University also has the responsibility to assure compliance with all federal, state, and internal requirements to prevent the theft, diversion, or misuse of potentially hazardous biological agents.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

There are no forms associated with this policy.

APPENDICES

There are no appendices associated with this policy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There is no FAQ for this policy.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-626-4851
612-626-6436

DEFINITIONS

Biosafety Levels
Standard and special microbiological practices, safety equipment, and facilities recommended for work with a variety of infectious agents in various laboratory settings. These levels are defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the latest edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1) has the least restrictive containment requirements, Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) and Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) have increasingly more stringent containment requirements and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) requires a dedicated facility. Four Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSL 1-4) describe the practices, safety equipment, and facilities for work with infected research animals.
Disposal
Placing of biological agents and other items used in the manipulation of these agents in the laboratory that are no longer intended for use into the waste stream.
Handling Biological Agents
Manipulation of biological material. Can also refer to manipulation of material at a specific Biosafety Level.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
The committee established by the president or delegate in accordance with federal regulations to review University activities involving the use of animals. iacuc@umn.edu
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
The committee established by the president or delegate in accordance with federal regulations to review University activities involving potentially hazardous biological agents or recombinant DNA. ibc@umn.edu
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
The committee established by the president or delegate in accordance with federal regulations to review University research involving human subjects. irb@umn.edu
Institutional Official
The official appointed by the president or delegate who ensures compliance with ethical standards, laws, regulatory requirements, institutional policies, and mandatory reporting requirements.
NIH Guidelines
The NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules
Non-University Entity
A group or individual not a part of the University, as well as University employees using University real estate for personal use and student organizations not covered by the University's liability insurance
Potentially Hazardous Biological Agent
Recombinant DNA (rDNA), biologically derived toxins (including mutated, truncated, or inactivated toxins), and infectious agents (including non-virulent and vaccine strains) that require handling at Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) or above.
Recombinant DNA (rDNA) Research
This includes all research involving the joining of natural or synthetic DNA segments to other DNA molecules, as well as all synthetic or natural DNA segments that are being used for gene transfer into an in vivo system. All research must be conducted in accordance with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines).
Research
Systematic investigation, including development, testing and evaluation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
Research Animal Resources (RAR)
The program established by the president or delegate to provide veterinary services and support for activities covered under Board of Regents Policy: Animal Care and Use.
Research Integrity and Oversight Programs (RIOP)
RIOP provides independent oversight and monitoring of research activities both internally and across the University system.
Responsible Official (RO)
The University of Minnesota official designated to act on behalf of the University regarding the possession, receipt or transfer of Select Agents.
Security
Policies, procedures, or devices intended to control access to biological materials
Select Agent
Refers to the HHS Select Agent and Toxin list (42CFR part 73), the Overlap Select Agent and Toxin list (42CFR Part 73 and 9CFR Part 121), the plant pathogens (7CFR Part 331) and the High Consequence Livestock Pathogens and Toxins (9CFR Part 121) as amended or revised.
Storage
Retention of biological materials by University employees or on University property, including materials kept in open laboratory space, incubators, refrigerators, or freezers.
Teaching
Activities that include classroom demonstrations, laboratory exercises and research projects that are required for completion of a course at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional level.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Biological Safety Officer (BSO)
Oversee the inspection of research facilities. .Serve as a member of the IBC. Take such actions that are necessary, including the suspension of research activities in the event of an unresolved safety hazard.
Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS)
Manage the Select Agent Program. Conduct inspections of laboratories where biological agents are used and/or stored. Assess risks and provide information and training to the University community on the safe handling, storage, security, or disposal of biological agents.
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
Review and grant approval for research proposals involving the use of biological agents. Mandate practices or procedures for the handling, storage, security and disposal of biological agents used in research or teaching. Inspect research facilities or delegate inspections and disapprove research in the event of noncompliance or an unresolved safety hazard.
Institutional Official (IO)
Responsible for taking steps to ensure compliance with ethical standards, laws, regulatory requirements, institutional policies, and mandatory reporting requirements.The IO appoints the RO. The IO also ensures adequate resources are available for proper functioning of the IBC and HRPP.
Investigators/Researchers
Register any projects or activities involving potentially hazardous biological materials with the IBC. Inform the IBC of any modifications to activities or storage locations and any incidents incurred during work with same. Ensure the safe use and storage of biological agents in the laboratory. When requested, inventory biological agents in the laboratory. Ensure the proper disposition of biological agents when the project is terminated. Abide by the policies and decisions of the University and the IBC.
Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)
Provide administrative support for the IBC
Responsible Official (RO)
Ensure compliance with regulations governing the possession, receipt or transfer of Select Agents. Report to appropriate federal agencies as required. Appoint alternate ROs.
Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA)
Verify IBC approval before setting up new awards.
Vice President for Research (VPR)
Provide oversight for the regulatory committees or offices involved with this policy.

RELATED INFORMATION

Related Board of Regents Policies:
Other

HISTORY

Amended:
June 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. Removed outdated language, updated UMN departments, added contacts, and revised definitions. All minor updates with no substantive change to policy statement. Title of this policy should be changed to read "Potentially" rather than "Potential" in order to align with other Board of Regents policies and NIH Guidelines. Responsibilities and Procedures updated.
Effective:
January 2004

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Last modified on October 27, 2014