Biohazard Policy

WUCCI Guidelines for Use of Biohazardous Materials

  1. All groups and laboratories using live animals for microscopy must have an approved IACUC protocol prior to bringing living animals to the WUCCI. Microscopes, and the rooms that contain them that will be used for live animal work MUST be approved as an animal outside use area by DCM and must be appropriately equipped. It is essential that you consult with the Scientific Director (Dr. Fitzpatrick) while preparing to submit your IACUC protocol describing proposed work in the WUCCI.
  2. All groups and laboratories using recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids for microscopy MUST have an approved IBC protocol describing the work prior to bringing samples to the WUCCI. It is essential that you consult with the Scientific Director (Dr. Fitzpatrick) prior to bringing in samples that contain recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid materials into the WUCCI.
  3. All users working with known or potential human pathogens or other potentially biohazardous agents must comply with Washington University School of Medicines IBC Committee policies in addition to all requirements of these WUCCI-specific guidelines detailed below:
    1. For any research conducted in relation to an approved IACUC protocol, a copy of said protocol, which should describe biological agent-specific risks as well as appropriate work practices, decontamination methods and/or specialized personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided to the Scientific Director (Dr. Fitzpatrick) prior to any work beginning in the WUCCI. This can be uploaded in the training request form via the iLab Solutions on-line management system.
    2. Any research conducted with biological hazards not described in an IACUC protocol will NOT under ANY circumstances be permitted.
  4. No eating, drinking or applying cosmetics in the microscope rooms or preparatory labs EVER.
  5. Read and understand the risks associated with your IACUC / IBC protocol for your specific pathogen(s) and notify the Scientific Director (Dr. Fitzpatrick) of your intention to use potentially pathogenic samples before beginning work in the WUCCI.
  6. Biohazard signage must be posted on the microscope room door indicating the biological agent in use and the appropriate biosafety level to be used while working with the agent. The submitted protocol(s) should indicate the IBC or EH&S approved biosafety level to be used with each specific agent.
  7. Sample preparation requirements
    1. All samples should be prepared in your own laboratory, sealed with parafilm, surface decontaminated with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant, and carried to the WUCCI in a sealed, secondary container labeled with a biohazard symbol (e.g., Tupperware-like container) in accordance with Washington University’s Transport Protocol for Research and Clinical specimens. The secondary container should be disinfected with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant prior to leaving your laboratory.
    2. Upon entering the WUCCI, decontaminate the outside of your sample using the EPA-registered disinfecting wipes (quaternary ammonium compound) provided by the WUCCI and follow with a 70% ethanol wipe-down. These EPA-registered disinfecting wipes are provided in each major microscope imaging suites.
    3. If you desire to perform experiments on material using the WUCCI tissue culture facility it is CRITICAL that those experiments are approved by the Scientific Director prior to commencement of culturing as space within incubators will be designated for your use.
    4. All research conducted using biological agents with the potential to produce aerosols should be carried out inside a biosafety cabinet, and all microscope slides, dishes, etc. should be surface-decontaminated with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant (e.g. quaternary ammonium compound wipes) prior to removal from the biosafety cabinet and transportation to the microscope.
  8. No gloves on the keyboards, computer mice, or any common equipment EVER. It is important to note that, because samples are fixed and/or sealed and have been surface decontaminated twice, handling samples with gloves is unnecessary. If you touch common equipment with a gloved hand, you must immediately decontaminate the equipment. Handling common equipment with contaminated gloves places all users of the facility at risk for exposure. If samples require BSL-2 handling practices, either don gloves when required to manipulate sample and remove gloves and sanitize hands prior to touching common equipment or use the One Glove Rule to mitigate contamination of common equipment.
  9. Report any spills, drips, splatters, or any potential contamination of the equipment to the WUCCI Scientific Director IMMEDIATELY. Post a warning sign that the equipment cannot be used until fully cleaned and decontaminated. The Scientific Director will coordinate clean up procedures. EH&S is available for consultation in case of large spills, or in situations where sensitive equipment may need to be decontaminated (314-362-6816).
  10. When you have completed imaging, wipe down the microscope, workstation (keyboard and mouse), and other work areas with the disinfecting wipes (quaternary ammonium compound) provided by the WUCCI and follow with a 70% ethanol wipe down. Clean the objectives with lens paper and 70% ethanol and follow with lens cleaner.
  11. After imaging, cells may be fixed in 2% paraformaldehyde in the designated biosafety cabinet. The cells may then be stained for other specific proteins as appropriate and imaged again. Once cells are fixed the samples are no longer biohazardous. If cells/samples will not be fixed, the cells should be treated with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant (e.g. 1 part Clorox bleach to 9 parts liquid sample volume) for an appropriate time (e.g. 20 minutes for Clorox bleach), the liquid removed to the appropriate liquid waste container or disposed via sink and the vessel discarded in the University's biohazard waste stream.
  12. Training requirements. All personnel must complete the training prior to working in the WUCCI and as part of their general workplace training within Washington University (training schedules).