Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder

Lab Support


Biosafety02The Biosafety Unit oversees safety and compliance for all research involving biological materials on the CU Boulder campus. In collaboration with the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Biosafety unit provides knowledge, support, and audits. Regulated biological materials in research include biological agents, infected animals or tissues, recombinant DNA, select agents and toxins, and work with human blood, bodily fluids, and tissues, or cells in culture.

Resources on this site are amassed to assist you in executing research involving biological material while staying safe and compliant.

The first step for all Principal Investigators using biological materials is to secure IBC authorization.

Get IBC Information



Importing Biological Materials

If you are importing biologics from animals or humans, this video will help you import them successfully into the United States. Biologics and vectors are regulated for importation to protect others from the spread of infectious diseases.

Importing Biologics and Vectors: Know Before You Go

Biological Sample Inventories

It’s time to clean shop and create/update an inventory – do you know what’s in your lab’s freezers?

UCB researchers are responsible for what is in their laboratories. Please discuss this topic with your lab members and update your lab’s inventories of biological materials. It not only keeps you aware of the agents for which you are ultimately responsible, but it will also help create space in your freezers by getting rid of those tubes that you no longer need. Freezer clean-outs are good laboratory practice, and they help keep your freezers running well and efficiently, thereby decreasing the risk of freezer malfunction and sample loss. A proper inventory should also greatly reduce the amount of time needed to find a sample from the freezer.

Below are a few examples of templates that can be used for your inventory:

9×9 freezer box template

10×10 freezer box template

Bacteria stock storage sheet


Biosafety Audits

We conduct Biosafety audits annually to support ongoing safety. You can ensure that your lab will pass by using the checklist provided below. This audit is part of the IBC post-approval monitoring.

Procedures for Biological Material Involved Work-Related Injuries or Illness

For work-related injuries or illnesses that include animal bites, severe allergic symptoms, sharps exposures, and any exposure—or potential exposure—to recombinant DNA or any other biological materials, it is critical that all safety procedures be followed. These events must be reported to the campus Biosafety unit. It is the policy of the University that all incidents that result in an injury (or severe illness) to faculty, staff, or students be appropriately documented and reported. Please reference the below document that provides information on medical treatment, reporting procedures, and worker’s compensation eligibility.

Guidance for Cleaning out Low Temp Freezers

This document describes procedures to help laboratories clean out and dispose of unused or unwanted items contained in ULT freezers and other freezers and refrigerators.  All items removed from any freezer or refrigerator must be carefully evaluated to ensure that they are disposed of properly. Please look at the document below for more information.

Post Exposure Plans

Do you work with any of the pathogens below? Check out these post-exposure plans to learn about what to do after you experience an exposure or just to gain some general knowledge of the pathogen. General background, appropriate disinfectants, routes of transmission and medical attention are just some of the many topics covered.

Dengue virus

Herpes simplex virus

Listeria monocytogenes


Mycobacterium marinium

Salmonella typhimurium

Shigella flexneri

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis


Pest Management

Maintaining pest control in biological laboratories is essential to overall campus safety. Facilities Management is charged with implementing and enforcing the campus-wide pest control use policy. Their staff is on hand to handle all pest control needs.

Select Agents

Infectious agents and toxins that are considered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as having the potential to pose substantial harm or a severe threat to human, animal, or plant health or plant products are regulated as “select agents”.

Select agents in any quantity are not permissible at CU Boulder. Toxins are permissible when in exempt quantities only. If you would like to work with toxins in exempt quantities, please contact the Biosafety unit.

Select Agent Resources