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Setting Up a Biosafety Level 2 Laboratory

This page is intended as a guide for researchers setting up Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) laboratories. Adherence to this guide will result in compliance with the CDC's guidelines (Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, ed. 5) and facilitate passing a lab inspection conducted by the Biosafety Officer.

Facility Requirements

  • Lockable doors
  • Impermeable work surfaces
  • Sealed/locked windows
  • Access to an autoclave
  • Hand washing station (sink, soap/alcohol gel and paper towels)
  • Eyewash
  • Load bearing furniture (not covered in absorbent material)
  • Negative air pressure (can be confirmed by the Biosafety Officer)


  • Autoclave tray
  • Biohazard waste container/bags
  • Dust pan and broom
  • Disinfectants (e.g. bleach and ethanol)
  • Sharps container
  • BSL-2 placards (Provided by Biosafety Officer)
  • Secondary container for transporting biohazards (sealed, leak proof and labeled as biohazard)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Lab coats 
  • Face and respiratory protection may be needed based on procedures and agents

Equipment and Supplies for Mammalian/Viral Culture

  • Certified biosafety cabinet
  • Vacuum trap for liquid waste
  • HEPA filtered vacuum line
  • Method for decontaminating pipets
  • *Recommended* Designated cloth or disposable lab coats for viral culture
  • *Recommended* Centrifuges with sealed rotors or safety cups to contain aerosols
  • Examples with ordering information


  • Personnel should follow the lab's safety protocol.
  • All liquid waste should be inactivated prior to disposal. Bleach should be added to a final concentration of 10% and allowed 30 minutes to inactivate infectious agents.
  • Solid waste should be decontaminated with 10% bleach and/or autoclaved prior to disposal.

Guidance for Research Involving



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