Skip Navigation
 
finance and administration
risk management

Biological Toxins

Possession use and transfer of biological toxins with a mammalian LD 50 of < 100 ug/Kg body weight should be registered with the MUSC Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). Registration can be performed via the ERMA system.

Select Agent Toxins

Some biological toxins are classified by the Federal Government as Select Agents due to their potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety.  Possession, use, and transfer of these toxins is highly regulated. The complete list of Select Agents and Toxins is available here.

In small quantities, some of these toxins are exempt from select agent registration with the federal government (See the table below). Please note that possession, use, or transfer of ANY select agent toxin, IN ANY QUANTITY, must be registered with the IBC. 

Exempt Quantities of Select Agent Toxins

ToxinQuantity (mg)
Abrin

100

Conotoxin

100

Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)

1000

Ricin

100

Saxitoxin

100

Shiga-like ribosome inactivating proteins

100

Tetrodotoxin

100

Botulinum neurotoxins

0.5

Staphylococcal enterotoxins

5

Clostridium perfinges epsilon toxin

100

Shigatoxin

100

T-2 Toxin

100

Specific requirement for Select Agent Toxins

  • The Biosafety Officer must be contacted to witness and document the destruction of select agent toxin stocks.
  • A log of usage must be kept as an inventory control measure.
  • The toxin must be stored in a locked and secure location to prevent theft.

Requirements for all toxins

  • At a minimum, biosafety level 2 containment and safety practices should be followed.
  • When working with toxins, a sign stating “Toxin in Use” should be posted at the lab entrance to provide hazard communication.
  • Precautions should be followed to contain spills and prevent aerosols or needle sticks.
  • Proper decontamination of waste
  • Toxins must be inactivated before disposal (refer to the MSDS)

The following is a template safety protocol for work involving biological toxins.

For further assistance, please contact the Biosafety Officer.


Inactivation Procedures for Selected Toxins (Adapted from the University of Pennsylvania Environmental Health and Safety website)

Allow at least a 60-minute chemical contact time for complete inactivation of toxin. Any procedure labeled “yes” is an approved procedure for inactivation of the toxin specified.

Toxin

Autoclave
(1 hour @ 121° C, liquid exhaust)

2.5% NaOCL + 0.25 N NaOH

1.0% NaOCl

2.5% NaOCl

Abrin (1)(8)

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Botulinum Neurotoxin (1) (7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin (2)

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Conotoxin(3)

CALL Biosafety Officer

Diacetoxyscirpenol(5)

No

Yes

No

Yes (3-5%)

Ricin (1)(7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Saxitoxin (1)(7)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shigatoxin & Shiga-like ribosome inactivating proteins(4)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Staphylococcal Enterotoxins (1)(7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tetrodotoxin (1)(7)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

T-2 Toxin (1)(6)(5)

No

Yes

No

No

  1. Wannemacher R.W. 1989. Procedures for Inactivation and Safety Containment of Toxins. Proc. Symposium on Agents of Biological Origin, U.S. Army Research, Dev. and Engineering Center, Aberdeen proving Ground, MD. pp. 115-122
     
  2. Factsheets on Chemical and Biological Warfare, http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Toxins/Cper.html
     
  3. Factsheets on Chemical and Biological Warfare, http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Toxins/Conotox.html
     
  4. Factsheets on Chemical and Biological Warfare, http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Toxins/Verotox.html
     
  5. Factsheets on Chemical and Biological Warfare, http://www.cbwinfo.com/Biological/Toxins/mycotoxins.html
     
  6. For complete inactivation of T-2 mycotoxin extend exposure time for liquid samples, spills, and non-burnable waste in 2.5%  sodium hypoclorite and 0.25 N sodium hydroxide to 4 hr. Expose cages/bedding from animals exposed to T-2 mycotoxin to 0.25% sodium hypochlorite and 0.025 N sodium hydroxide for 4 hrs.
     
  7. For inactivation of saxitoxin, tetrodotoxin, ricin, botulinum toxin, or staphylococcal enterotoxins, expose work surfaces, solutions, equipment, animal cages, spills to 10% sodium hypochlorite for 60 minutes.
     
  8. http://www.inchem.org/documents/pims/plant/abruspre.htm

LD50 Values for Some Biological Toxins (Adapted from the University of Florida Environmental Health and Safety website)

Toxin

LD50 (ug/kg)*

Abrin  

0.7

Aerolysin  

7.0

Botulinin toxin A  

0.0012

Botulinin toxin B  

0.0012

Botulinin toxin C1  

0.0011

Botulinin toxin C2  

0.0012

Botulinin toxin D  

0.0004

Botulinin toxin E  

0.0011

Botulinin toxin F  

0.0025

b-bungarotoxin  

14.0

Caeruleotoxin  

53

Cereolysin  

40-80

Cholera toxin  

250

Clostridium difficile enterotoxin A  

0.5

Clostridium difficile cytotoxin B  

220

Clostridium perfringens lecithinase  

3

Clostridium perfringens kappa toxin  

1500

Clostridium perfringens perfringolysin O  

13-16

Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin  

81

Clostridium perfringens beta toxin  

0.4

Clostridium perfringens delta toxin  

5

Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin  

0.1

Conotoxin  

12-30

Crotoxin  

82

Diphtheria toxin  

0.1

Listeriolysin  

3-12

Leucocidin  

50

Modeccin  

1-10

Nematocyst toxins  

33-70

Notexin  

25

Pertussis toxin  

15

Pneumolysin  

1.5

Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin A  

3

Ricin  

2.7

Saxitoxin  

8

Shiga toxin  

20

Shigella dysenteriae neurotoxin  

1.3

Streptolysin O  

8

Staphylococcus enterotoxin B  

25

Staphylococcus enterotoxin F  

2-10

Streptolysin S  

25

Taipoxin  

2

Tetanus toxin  

0.001

Tetrodotoxin  

8

Viscumin  

2.4-80

Volkensin  

1.4

Yersinia pestis murine toxin  

10

*Please note that the LD50 values are from a number of sources (see below). For specifics on route of application (i.v., i.p., s.c.), animal used, and variations on the listed toxins, please go to the references listed below.


Reference:
1. Gill, D. Michael; 1982; Bacterial toxins: a table of lethal amounts;
Microbiological Reviews; 46: 86-94
2. Stirpe, F.; Luigi Barbieri; Maria Giulia Battelli, Marco Soria and Douglas
A. Lappi; 1992; Ribosome-inactivating proteins from plants: present status
and future prospects; Biotechnology; 10: 405-412
3. Registry of toxic effects of chemical substances (RTECS): comprehensive
guide to the RTECS. 1997. Doris V. Sweet, ed., U.S. Dept of Health and
Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health;
Cincinnati, Ohio

Back to Biosafety Officer's Home Page

 
 
 

© 2012  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer| Charleston Memorial Hospital, 326 Calhoun Street, Suite 190, MSC 184, Charleston, South Carolina, 29425
Phone: 843-792-3055  - Fax: 843-792-6607