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Biosafety Containment: Aerosol Transmissible Diseases

See requirements for research with listed aerosol transmissible pathogens at UC San Diego.


The Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard, CCR Title 8, Section 5199, issued by California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) requires employers to implement an effective program to minimize exposure of employees to pathogens transmitted via aerosols and droplets.

Requirements for principal investigators

Principal investigators with research involving any agent listed in Appendix D: Aerosol Transmissible Pathogens – Laboratory must meet the requirements below:

  • Implement a written ATD Biosafety Plan (PDF) (Word file)
  • Complete the Risk Assessment section of the Biohazardous Use Authorization (BUA)
  • Identify which personnel are working with specific agents that require the offer of vaccination
  • Have personnel attend initial Aerosol Transmissible Disease Pathogens Training and complete annual refresher training
  • Assure personnel complete required medical services and are aware of recommended services
  • Know emergency procedures for uncontrolled releases and potential exposures
  • Eliminate "clean areas" from bays where aerosol transmissible pathogens are handled
  • Verify independently that attenuated strains of certain organisms or viruses are in fact attenuated — in some cases, this will exempt the agent from the ATD Standard

Requirements for the laboratory personnel

  • Listed on a Principal Investigator’s approved BUA
  • Identified by the Principal Investigator as working with the specific agents that require the offer of vaccination
  • Complete all required training and/or medical consults for work with the specific agents
  • Read and sign the Hazard Control Plans associated with the specific agents

See specific implementation procedures for UC San Diego researchers:

ATD Biosafety Plan

  1. Complete the UCSD Aerosol Transmissible Disease Biosafety Plan identifying agents, personnel, operations, and safety practices.
    Aerosol Transmissible Disease Biosafety Plan (PDF) (Word file)
  2. Send the completed Plan to for review.

This exposure control plan must have documented review at least annually by the PI and by employees.

BUA - Risk Assessment

Complete the Risk Assessment section of the Biohazardous Use Authorization (BUA).

Related links:

Training requirement

Provide initial Aerosol Transmissible Disease Pathogens Traning to employees at the time of assignment to tasks where occupational exposure may take place and at least annually thereafter.

Provide additional training after incidents and when changes in the workplace or procedures could affect worker exposure to aerosol transmissible disease pathogens. Training must be documented and dated.

How to meet the training requirement:

Annual Aerosol Transmissible Disease Pathogens Refresher Training is required within 1 year of initial training, and annually thereafter.

Related links:

Medical services

Ensure employees working with agents listed below are provided with corresponding medical services from Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM):

Agent Medical service CDC Vaccine Information Statement Vaccine Accept/Decline Forms Available
Bordetella pertussis Vaccination recommended Tdap Vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) (PDF) Pertussis Vaccine Form (PDF)
Corynebacterium diphtheria Vaccination recommended Td Vaccine (Tetanus and Diphtheria) (PDF) Diphtheria Vaccine Form (PDF)
Haemophilus influenzae, type b Vaccination recommended Hib (PDF)
Hepatitis B Virus Vaccination recommended Hepatitis B Vaccine (PDF) Hepatitis B Vaccine Info
Herpesvirus simiae (B-virus) and any material suspected to contain the virus

Medical consult required with EH&S Occupational Health Nurse at COEM

- -
Influenza Virus Seasonal vaccination recommended Influenza Vaccine (PDF) Influenza Vaccine Form (PDF)

Japanese Encephalitis Virus

Vaccination recommended Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine (PDF) -
Measles Virus Vaccination recommended MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) (PDF) Measles Vaccine Form (PDF)
Mumps Virus Vaccination recommended MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) (PDF) Mumps Vaccine Form (PDF)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) Requires annual TB medical surveillance  and Biosafety Level 3: Practices, Equipment, and Facilities training - n/a
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis Requires annual TB medical surveillance n/a -
Neisseria meningitidis Vaccination recommended Meningococcal vaccines MenACWY (PDF) or MenB (PDF) -
Rabies Virus Vaccination recommended, medical consult  required with EH&S Occupational Health Nurse at COEM Rabies Vaccine (PDF) -
Rubella Virus Vaccination recommended MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) (PDF) Rubella Vaccine Form (PDF)

Salmonella typhi

Vaccination recommended Typhoid vaccine (PDF) -

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Vaccination recommended Pneumococcal vaccines PCV13 (PDF) or Polysaccharide (PDF) Pneumococcal Vaccine (PDF)
Vaccinia Virus Vaccination recommended, medical consult required with EH&S Occupational Health Nurse at COEM Smallpox Vaccine -
Varicella-Zoster Virus Vaccination recommended Shingles Vaccine (PDF) Varicella-Zoster Vaccine Form (PDF)

Yellow Fever Virus

Vaccination recommended Yellow Fever vaccine (PDF) -

(Contact the Occupational Nurse to obtain Accept/Decline Forms for vaccines.)


Job-related recommended immunizations are voluntary. After completing training and reviewing the Vaccine Information Statement, the employee must sign a vaccine Accept/Decline Form to document their intention to either accept or decline the vaccination.

Send the vaccine Accept/Decline Form to EH&S Occupational Health:

If the vaccination is requested, an Authorization/Registration Form with instructions for scheduling a COEM appointment will be sent to you.


Vaccinations and TB testing are paid for by EH&S funding if recommended and approved by EH&S Occupational Health.

How to obtain medical services

  1. Contact EH&S Occupational Health at COEM, for vaccine information and/or COEM Authorization/Registration paperwork prior to making an appointment at COEM.
  2. Then make an appointment at COEM. COEM locations and maps.

Emergency procedures

Emergency Guide 2011

UCSD Emergency Guide

All workers should review the UCSD Emergency Guide (see image at right). The Emergency Guide contains emergency phone numbers and procedures for UCSD personnel, is widely distributed in laboratories, and is available online.

Spills or uncontrolled release

If a spill is too large or dangerous for lab staff to safely clean up, call UCSD Police at (858) 534-4357 or 9-1-1.

Respiratory protection may be needed to clean up a spill or uncontrolled release of aerosol transmissible disease pathogens. UCSD Police will activate the EH&S HazMat team. HazMat team members are medically cleared, trained, and fit tested to wear self-contained breathing apparatus.

Spills or uncontrolled releases outside of biosafety cabinets must be reported to EH&S.

Report exposure incidents

An exposure incident is a significant exposure to an aerosol containing an aerosol transmissible disease pathogen without the benefit of applicable exposure control measures required by the agent-specific ATD Biosafety Plan.

If an exposure occurs, seek medical help and report the incident.

Prompt medical attention may reduce the risk of serious health consequences after an exposure incident.


Per Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard, Title 8, Section 5199:

Aerosol transmissible pathogen - laboratory (ATP-L)
"A pathogen that meets one of the following criteria: (1) the pathogen appears on the list in Appendix D, (2) the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) recommends biosafety level 3 or above for the pathogen, (3) the biological safety officer recommends biosafety level 3 or above for the pathogen, or (4) the pathogen is a novel or unknown pathogen."

Regulations and policies

Contact EH&S Biosafety.