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Environmental Sampling and Analytical Methods (ESAM) Program

Safety and Waste Management for SAM Pathogen Methods

Pathogens in samples taken from areas contaminated as the result of a homeland security event may be more hazardous than naturally occurring pathogens of the same genus and species. The pathogens may have been manufactured, engineered or treated to enhance dispersion or virulence characteristics. Laboratories should carefully consider implementing additional safety measures before agreeing to accept these samples.

In addition, many of the pathogen methods listed in Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM) contain specific requirements, guidelines or information regarding safety precautions that should be followed when handling or processing environmental samples and reagents. BSL-2 is suitable for work involving agents that pose moderate hazards to personnel and the environment. BSL-3 is applicable when performing manipulations of indigenous or exotic agents that can cause serious or potentially lethal disease and also have the potential for aerosol transmission. Some pathogens that are normally handled at BSL-2 may require BSL-3 procedures and facilities if large volumes, high concentrations or potential aerosols are expected as a part of the analytical process.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.For more information on BSL practices and procedures, the following references should be consulted:

The following sources provide information regarding waste management:

Other resources that can be consulted for additional information include the following:

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