CCTech provides key services in delivering new biocontainment research laboratories. Containment laboratories must be designed and built so as to prevent or control the exposure of laboratory workers, other persons and the environment to the biological agent in use. Biological agents (as defined by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health [COSHH] Regulations) have been categorised by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) into four Hazard Groups (1 being lowest risk, 4 being highest). The levels of containment are determined by their categorisation i.e. Containment Level 3 (CL3) is required for Hazard Group 3 pathogens.
Genetically modified organisms are categorised under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations using similar criteria for categorisation according to the likelihood and consequence of exposure to humans or the environment and, as such, require facilities similar to those specified under COSHH. The specifications for laboratories used for genetically modified organisms are provided by The Scientific Advisory Committee on Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) – SACGM(CU).
Every CL3 laboratory has two physical layers of containment. The primary barrier (safety equipment), which will contain the hazard at source, and the secondary barrier (the laboratory itself).
Primary containment is the first container in direct contact with biohazardous material, additionally protecting personnel and the immediate laboratory environment from exposure to infectious agents. Primary containment requires the use of proper storage containers, good microbiological technique, and the use of appropriate safety equipment such as biological safety cabinets.
Secondary containment is the protection of the environment external to the laboratory from exposure to infectious materials and this is provided by a combination of facility design and operational practices. It is also important to recognise that the secondary barrier also represents a security barrier that prevents all but those who are fully trained and competent to enter unless fully supervised.
To ensure success the Biocontainment laboratories need to be designed and the project managed by those who understand the needs and requirements of both the scientific community and those from the design and construction side of the project.
CCTech believe in providing an efficient and cost effective approach to the validation of new facilities.