All activities in a BSL-2 laboratory require higher security standards than in a BSL-1 laboratory. The biological material used in a BSL-2 laboratory consists of bacteria, viruses, and organisms associated with human diseases. The potential pathogenic or infectious organisms subject to BSL-2 standards pose a moderate hazard to healthy adult humans. However, because of their potential to cause human disease, great care must be taken to prevent percutaneous injury, and employees are subject to regular medical surveillance if necessary. The main difference in the work procedures followed in a BSL-1 laboratory and a BSL-2 laboratory is that employees in a BSL-2 laboratory will use a BSC as a primary barrier for potentially hazardous aerosols. These aerosols are generally formed during standard work procedures like mixing, pipetting, and centrifuging, so these activities should be carried out under a BSC. At a minimum, an autoclave has to be present in the lab as a second barrier. Windows open to the outside are not recommended. A sink for washing hands must be placed in direct proximity to the exit door. The laboratory should be easy to clean and decontaminate. Inside the laboratory, special lab coats, gloves, and face and eye protection should be worn. Special precaution must be taken with sharps that can cause injury. Access to BSL-2 laboratories must be restricted.
Examples of typical BSL-2 biological material
- Bacteria: Chlamydia pneumoniae, Enterobacter spp., Mycoplasma pneumonia, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
- Viruses: Herpes simplex virus, HIV (when performing routine diagnostic procedures or working with clinical specimens)