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Biosafety Emergencies at the College of Veterinary Medicine

In the event of an accident or other emergency involving actual or potential personal injury, exposure to pathogens, or releases of infectious materials, call 911 immediately from a campus phone or 255-1111 from a cellular phone.

(If you are not sure if an event meets the criteria above, call 911 or 255-1111 anyway & the response personnel will help you determine the need for response.)

Pathogen Exposures

Immediate Response Actions:

If you identify a potential exposure of others (e.g., by performing lab tests that identify a human pathogen in a sample from a CUHA patient), contact the College Biosafety Officer by calling the Dean's Office at 253-3773 to report the exposure.

For more information on accident and injury reporting, visit the EH&S website or contact the Occupational Medicine Program at Gannett Health Services

Biological Spills

Liquids

  1. Small Liquid Spills (less than 1 pint) should be cleaned up using paper towels, followed by decontamination using procedures described in the following subsection. Paper towels used for spill cleanup must be placed in biohazard bags for disposal as medical waste.
  2. Large Liquid Spills (greater than 1 pint) should be cleaned up using the following procedures:
    1. Apply absorbent material (paper towels or granular aboserbent like "speedy-dri" to soak up any free liquids.
    2. Apply 5-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 1% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the affected area and absorbent material (preferably using a using a spray bottle or deck sprayer) and let stand for 20 minutes.
      NOTE: do not create runoff of disinfectant solution.
    3. Collect absorbent material by scraping or gently sweeping into a dustpan or shovel and place in biohazard bags for disposal as medical waste.
    4. Apply 10-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 0.5% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the affected area let stand for 20 minutes.
    5. Floors: Mop area with a 10-fold solution of bleach or other suitable disinfectant in the mop bucket.
    6. Lab Benches and Biosafety cabinets: wipe affected area down with damp paper towels
      NOTE: rinse stainless steel surfaces liberally with water if bleach is used.

Solid Materials

  1. Apply 5-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 1% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the solids and affected area (preferably using a using a spray bottle or deck sprayer) and let stand for 20 minutes.
    NOTE: do not create runoff of disinfectant solution.
  2. Collect solid material by scraping or gently sweeping into a dustpan or shovel and place in biohazard bags or sharps containers, as appropriate, for disposal as medical waste.
    NOTE: use forceps or other mechanical means to collect glass and other sharps.
  3. Apply 10-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 0.5% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the affected area let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Floors: Mop area with a 10-fold solution of bleach or other suitable disinfectant in the mop bucket.
  5. Lab Benches and Biosafety cabinets: wipe affected area down with damp paper towels
    NOTE: rinse stainless steel surfaces liberally with water if bleach is used.

Medical Waste Spills

  1. Apply 5-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 1% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the solids and affected area (preferably using a using a spray bottle or deck sprayer) and let stand for 20 minutes. NOTE do not create runoff of disinfectant solution.
  2. Collect solid material by scraping or gently sweeping into a dustpan or shovel and place in biohazard bags or sharps containers, as appropriate, for disposal as medical waste.
    NOTE: use forceps or other mechanical means to collect glass and other sharps.
  3. Apply 10-fold dilution of bleach (i.e., approximately 0.5% sodium hypochlorite) or other suitable disinfectant to the affected area let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Floors: Mop area with a 10-fold solution of bleach or other suitable disinfectant in the mop bucket.
  5. Lab Benches and Biosafety cabinets: wipe affected area down with damp paper towels (NOTE: rinse stainless steel surfaces liberally with water if bleach is used).

Biohazards in the Mail

Suspicious Mail Procedures pdf

  1. Unopened Suspicious Letter or Package:
    • Stay calm
    • Follow guidance on USPS poster (isolate, wash, etc)
    • Look for more than one sign
    • Investigate: (Contact addressee or potential senders)
    • Call for help if needed
  2. Suspicious Substance Found On or Inside Parcel:
    • Stay calm
    • Isolate parcel immediately
    • Secure room
    • Wash hands
    • Call 911
    • Call College contact
  3. Contact with Suspicious Substance:
    • Isolate substance immediately
    • Do not brush substance off
    • Secure room
    • Wash hands (change clothes & shower if needed)
    • Call 911
    • Call College contact

Contacts

Resources

If you have any questions on these issues or need additional information, please contact Paul Jennette (Biosafety Engineer, College of Veterinary Medicine) at jpj22 or 3-4227 or Frank Cantone (University Biosafety Officer, Cornell Environmental Health & Safety) at fac2 or 4-4888.