Division Title

Biological Safety

We facilitate the implementation of biosafety practices for researchers in the laboratory. The information provided should aid you in practicing safe science when working with biological agents.  


Select one of the links below for more information:


About Biological Safety at the NIH

Biological and Pathogen Registrations

Biological Materials Shipping (Import/Export)

Biological Safety Cabinets

Decontamination and Sterilization

Exempt Toxin Program Requirements

pdf documentGuidance for the Selection of Laboratory Coats

NIH Exposure Control Program

Safety Data Sheets

pdf documentSafety By Design: Biosafety Monograph

Select Agent Program

SOP 900 Approval Process for Inactivation Methods for Infectious Material

Spill in Laboratory

About Biological Safety at the NIH

We promote biological safety at the NIH through a broad range of support services, consultation and assistance. We provide training support to help supervisors fulfill the necessary training requirements. Training classes that address the recognition and control of common biological, chemical and physical hazards found in NIH laboratories, as well as safe work practices with human and nonhuman primate retroviruses and other bloodborne pathogens, are routinely presented.


All work with hazardous biological materials is conducted in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / National Institutes of Health publication, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 6th Edition. Laboratories where work at BSL-1 and higher is conducted are posted with signage indicating: 

  • Assigned biosafety level 
  • Biological material(s) in use 
  • Special procedures or precautions for entry 
  • Name of the Principal Investigator (PI) 
  • Contact numbers in case of an emergency

These laboratories will be inspected by our Safety and Health Specialists to ensure that the facility is operating properly for the assigned biosafety level and that appropriate practices and procedures are observed. Follow-up inspections may be conducted.


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