Biological Spills

For Small Spills in a Biological Safety Cabinet

  • Leave the biological safety cabinet running.
  • Wipe down all interior biological safety cabinet surfaces with appropriate disinfectant.
  • Wipe down all supplies and equipment in biological safety cabinet.

For Moderate Spills in a Biological Safety Cabinet

  • Leave the biological safety cabinet running.
  • Follow general spill procedures.
  • Wipe down all interior surfaces.
  • Determine if spill has gone beyond the work surface, such as on the grilles or inside seams. If yes, disassemble as much of biological safety cabinet as possible for decontamination.
  • If the biological safety cabinet has a catch basin below the work surface that may be involved in the spill, flood the basin with disinfectant. Do not use alcohol as a large quantity of alcohol presents a flammable hazard. Clean basin after 30 minutes.
  • Autoclave or wipe down all items in biological safety cabinet with disinfectant.
  • Let biological safety cabinet run for at least 10 minutes after cleanup.

For Large Spills (Greater Than 100ml) in the Biological Safety Cabinet

  • Evacuate room, close doors, prevent others from entering, and wait 30 minutes for aerosols to settle.
  • Follow procedure above for small and moderate spills.

Small and Moderate Spills Outside the Biological Safety Cabinet

  • Remove any contaminated clothing and put in autoclavable bag. Be aware that autoclaving may damage fabric.
  • Notify other workers in the area of the spill, and control traffic through area (e.g., put up 'do not enter' signs, lock doors, etc.).
  • Wear shoe covers and safety goggles if spill is on floor; spill may have splashed beyond immediate area of spill.
  • Put on gloves and cover spill area with paper towels.
  • Pour disinfectant over towels from edges of spill to center. Be careful not to splatter.
  • Decontaminate all objects in spill area.
  • Allow 30 minutes of contact time.
  • Pick up any sharps, including broken glass, with forceps and place in sharps container.
  • Use a squeegee (or other appropriate device) and dustpan to recover any shards of broken glass in contaminated liquid. Decontaminate squeegee and dust pan.
  • Wipe area with disinfectant and clean paper towels, and put in biohazard bag.
  • Remove gloves and foot covers before leaving area of the spill; put in biohazard bag.
  • Wash hands.

For Large Spills (Greater Than 100ml) Outside a Biological Safety Cabinet

  • Evacuate room, close doors, prevent others from entering, and wait 30 minutes for aerosols to settle.
  • Contact the Biological Safety Officer in UHS (612) 626-6002 to determine if professional decontamination is indicated.