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4.13 Lab Equipment Decontamination Requirements

Equipment used with potentially infectious material must be decontaminated:

  • Routinely (e.g., daily or weekly depending on frequency of use)
  • After any spill or splash, and
  • Before any repair, maintenance or removal from the lab.  

If equipment failure or a spill occurs during use of a BSC with biohazardous materials, the work surfaces must be disinfected, and the cabinet’s fan, filters and airflow plenums may need to be decontaminated by formaldehyde gas or another approved method. Contact the EHS Biosafety Office for assistance.

Equipment failure experienced with refrigerators, freezers, water baths, centrifuges, etc. which are used with biohazardous materials also require decontamination and cleaning before being serviced and put back into use.

Decontaminate refrigerated equipment before having interior surfaces exposed for defrosting. Document those actions using a written notice and post the notice on the equipment while defrosting is in process.   

Decontaminate and clean equipment scheduled for service or surplus, as well as the areas around/ behind/ underneath the equipment that may have accumulated dirt or contaminated debris since equipment was last moved. See instructions on Equipment Decontamination Form for approved decontamination methods. (Form can be found in the Appendices of this manual.) Document your decontamination method on the form, and affix the form to the equipment upon completion. For liability purposes, a copy of the form must be kept in lab records following service on equipment.