4.22 Other Aerosol-Generating Lab Equipment and Tasks
Lab equipment that breaks up, slices, mixes, separates, nebulizes or applies fluidics to move biological material has the potential to create biohazardous aerosols, such as:
- Homogenizers, blenders, sonicators, tissue grinders, microtomes, lyophilizers, nebulizers, lasers, shaking incubators
- Centrifuges, vortex mixers
- Fermenters, flow cytometers, pipettes
Research tasks that have the potential to create aerosols include, but are not limited to:
- Animal inoculations
- Removing fluid from a vial with rubber septum with a needle
- Harvesting egg or animal tissue
- Opening a vial of lyophilized biological material
- Opening a vial of thawed culture material
- Flaming inoculating loops with open flame
- Performing bacterial staining
- Performing microscopy using live agents
- Loading a hemocytometer for cell counting
- Changing animal bedding
Measures to reduce aerosol creation:
- Think through each procedural step to identify the specific risks.
- Eliminate, substitute or reconfigure, if possible, to lessen the aerosol risks.
- Utilize all containment elements that are part of the equipment, i.e., safety cups on centrifuge rotors.
- Utilize biosafety cabinets or other containment devices to house aerosol-generating small equipment or tasks.
- Always disinfect work areas and equipment after use.
- Always use appropriate PPE to protect yourself.