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Biosafety Level (BSL) 1: Hazard Control

Learn about working with Risk Group 1 agents using Biosafety Level 1 practices, safety equipment and facilities.


Risk Group 1 (RG1) agents are not associated with disease in healthy adult humans.

Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1) is suitable for work involving well-characterized agents not known to cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment. 

General Information 

Although not pathogenic to humans, best practices are to avoid ingestion, inoculation or contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin.

Some RG1 agents may be pathogenic to animals or plants. Below are some examples of such agents.

RG1 Animal Pathogens:

Agent Type

Agent Name


Citrobacter rodentium


Psittacine Herpesvirus


Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV)


Fowlpox virus


Murine Cytomegalovirus




Murine Sarcoma Virus


Muscovy Duck Parvovirus


Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus


Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus


Feline Enteric Coronavirus


Duck Hepatitis Virus


Avian Metapneumovirus

RG1 Plant Pathogens:

Agent Type

Agent Name


Clavibacter michiganensis


Agrobacterium tumefaciens

There is no known human disease caused by Baculovirus; however, it is known to infect mammalian cells in culture.

Required Training

Use of all agents must be approved through a Biohazard Use Authorization.

Use of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids requires Biosafety: Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acids training.

Agent specific training and experimental procedure training should be provided by Principal Investigator.

Engineering Controls

No special practices or equipment are required but biohazardous sharps containers should be used for work with needles, scalpels or other sharps. For Facility requirements please see the Biosafety Level Practices Chart.

Personal Protective Equipment

Lab coat, safety glasses, and gloves are the minimum PPE requirement.

Handling/ Storage/ Purchasing

No vaccinations are required for handling this agent.

Spill Response

Small spills:

  1. Ensure proper PPE is in place prior to cleaning up spill.
  2. For surface decontamination use 10% household bleach solution or other appropriate EPA-registered surface disinfectant. For more information on disinfectants please see the Summary of Disinfectants
  3. Allow 5-minutes contact time before wiping up.

Spills larger than a sheet of paper:

  1. Evacuate area
  2. Report the spill

Call EH&S at (858) 534-3660. Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After hours call Campus Police at 911

For spills involving higher hazard biological agents or materials please see the Emergency Guide.

Exposure Response

  1. Notify immediate supervisor.
  2. Complete the campus injury report as soon as possible.
  3. Seek treatment:

UC San Diego Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
COEM: La Jolla location
8899 University Center Lane, Suite 160
San Diego, CA 92122.
(858) 657-1600

COEM: Hillcrest location
330 Lewis Street, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 471-9210

For after-hours care, go to the UC San Diego Health Systems Emergency Department or nearest Medical Center Emergency Room and contact COEM the next business day to determine if a follow-up visit is required. 

Hillcrest Emergency
UC San Diego Medical Center
200 W. Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103

La Jolla Emergency
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
9434 Medical Center Drive
La Jolla CA, 92037

First Aid

  • Eye exposure  flush eyes in eye wash for 15 minutes
  • Skin exposure  wash area with soap and water for 15 minutes
  • Needle stick or skin cut – wash wound area with soap and water for 15 minutes
  • Contamination of clothing  remove the contaminated clothing and place in biohazard bag, shower with the emergency douse shower, and put on clean clothes.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

  • Liquids: Add bleach to liquid waste to a final concentration of 10% bleach. Let sit for 30 minutes, then dispose down the sink. 
  • Vacuum flask: Add bleach to vacuum flask before aspirating liquid waste. Final concentration should be 10% bleach.
  • Solids: Dispose of solid waste in double red biohazard bags both labeled with address, that are held in rigid, covered containers with biohazard label. Transport to biohazard collection area in a closed rigid container for final disposal by EH&S.
  • Surface Decontamination: Use 10% household bleach solution or other appropriate surface disinfectant. Allow 5 minutes of contact time before wiping area.