Biosafety Acquisition, Transfers, Inventories and Disposal

Regulations and granting agencies require the tracking of all biological materials being acquired, transferred or disposed of.

Biosafety Acquisition, Transfers, Inventories and Disposal

What are biological materials?

Regulations and granting agencies require the tracking of all biological materials being acquired, transferred or disposed of. This includes purchases, internal & external transfers, and destruction.

The definition of biological materials covered by the biosafety program are:

  • Genetically modified organisms that may be hazardous to humans or the environment; ‘infectious’ biological products; microorganisms; and human/animal tissues, cells, blood and bodily fluids.
  • The term ‘infectious’ includes biological toxins, viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other organisms/genetic systems that, by virtue of their replicative properties, are potentially harmful to humans, animals and the environment.

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How to obtain biological materials?

Permit holders must take several steps when purchasing, obtaining or receiving biological materials. The following table indicates the regulations that may apply to the obtaining of biological materials (depending on the classification and type of organism).

Group UBC Bio Permit Human Pathogen or Toxin Animal Pathogen Plant Pests Aquatic Pests
Risk Group 1 X X X
Risk Group 2 X X X X X
Risk Group 3 X X X X X
Soil Samples X
Plant Samples X X
Animals/Tissues X X X
Human Samples X
Cell Lines X X

 

Group Endangered Species Non-indigenous Environmental Sample Plant with Novel Trait Animal or Human Ethics
Risk Group 1 X X
Risk Group 2 X
Risk Group 3 X
Soil Samples X
Plant Samples X X X
Animals/Tissues X X X
Human Samples X
Cell Lines X

 

  1. UBC Bio Permit must be amended to include any biological material (as defined above) prior to receipt.
  2. Human Pathogens or Toxins must be reported to the RMS Research Safety Office prior to receipt.
  3. Imported Animal Pathogens that are not also a human pathogen or toxin,must be reported to the RMS Research Safety Office prior to receipt.
  4. Imported Plant Pests must obtain a Plant Pest Importation Permit (PDF) from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. A copy of the application form must be sent to the RMS Research Safety Office.
  5. Imported Aquatic Pests must obtain an Aquatic Pest Importation Permit (PDF) from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. A copy of the application form must be sent to the Research Safety Office.
  6. Import or Export of Endangered Species or Samples must obtain a Permit to Import, Export or Re-export Live Animals or Animal Parts or Products from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  7. Imported Non-indigenous Environmental Samples (Plants, insects, soil, water/sewage) must obtain the appropriate documentation from Canadian Food Inspection Agency or Environment Canada.
  1. Containment for Plant with a Novel Traits must be approved through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. General information including importation permits.
  2. Receipt of Animals or Human Samples require either Animal Ethics Approval or Clinical Research Ethics Board Approval prior to receiving the animals or samples.

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How to transfer biological samples?

Biological material transfer between research groups and/or facilities is regulated by multiple federal agencies. All researchers are responsible for ensuring that the laboratories they send materials to meet the applicable standards personnel training, documentation, packaging, hazard communication and shipment. Legal responsibility extends to dangerous goods compliance of packages received by UBC and the compliance of collaborating laboratories that UBC researcher send biological agents to. To facilitate compliance, the Biosafety Office has prepared transfer document templates to be completed for internal, domestic and foreign transfers of biological substances:

If transfer is… Then use Material Transfer Form… Also provide… Other requirements
Between UBC Researchers UBC Internal Biological Materials Transfer Form (WORD)
With another Canadian Institution UBC Domestic Biological Materials Transfer Form (WORD)
From UBC to an Institution outside of Canada UBC International Export Biological Materials Transfer Form TDG (WORD) Check with your collaborator to see if an import permit from their government is required
From an Institution outside of Canada to UBC UBC International Import Biological Materials Transfer Form (WORD) UBC Biological Substance Shipping Guidelines for Collaborators (WORD)

 
Before arranging for a pathogen to be transferred to you, please ensure the organism is listed and approved on your Biosafety Permit. For external transfers (outside of UBC researchers) researchers must ensure the receivers have the appropriate Canadian Licenses or County specific licenses/approvals.

NOTE: When shipping Risk Group 2 or higher including some human blood and body fluids, please shipments may fall under Transportation of Dangerous Goods (select TDG). You must determine the appropriate classification prior to shipment. This includes samples transferred across Vancouver.
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How to track biological inventories?

All researchers must track and document what biological materials they have on site. This includes materials in long term storage and in active use. The Biosafety Permit acts as a basic inventory but individual labs must also maintain more detailed inventories which include the following:

  • Name of Material (Genus/Species/Strain/Common Name)
  • Storage Room Number
  • Freezer/Shelf Location/Number
  • Associated Permit Number
  • Required Security Measures
  • Disposal Method
  • Date of transfer/disposal

Risk Management Services has a sample Biological Inventory Form (WORD) that may be used or modified.

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How to determine biological waste streams?

There are 6 waste streams associated to Biological Materials. When in doubt which stream your laboratory waste will fall into, contact the Environmental Services Team. The following is a short summary, for full information for UBC Point Grey Campus read the procedures listed in the Hazardous Waste Manual (PDF).

Note: For the hospital sites please contact the RMS Research Safety Office with any questions.

Group Point Grey Campus Hospital Site
Risk Group 1 and 2 Clear Unmarked Bags:
Autoclaved in waste approved autoclave
Yellow Bins/Bags:
RG2 micro-organisms autoclaved prior to pick up
Risk Group 3 Orange Biohazard Bags:
Autoclaved as per SOPs
Orange Biohazard Bags:
Autoclaved as per SOPs
Sharps Waste Red or Yellow Sharps Container:
Autoclave by placing container on its side in a waste approved autoclave
Red or Yellow Sharps Container:
Autoclave by placing container on its side in a waste approved autoclave
Human/Animal Blood/Human Fluid, Tissue or Organ Red Bags or Buckets:
Store in freezer when required
Red Bags or Buckets:
Store in freezer when required
Pathological Waste (Animal Carcasses or Organs) Thick Black Bags:
Store in freezer and label as either “contaminated” or “uncontaminated”
Thick Black Bags:
Store in freezer and label as either “contaminated” or “uncontaminated”

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