Biosafety Manual

The University of Toronto Biosafety Program is designed to protect lab personnel and the public from potential exposure to biological materials used within the University and to prevent unintentional release into the environment. The program includes a number of components, including laboratory containment requirements (physical and operational controls); medical surveillance (including immunization where appropriate); classroom and online training; and compliance with regulatory requirements for importing and shipping biological material [i.e. viruses, bacteria, fungi, prions, toxins, viral vectors, recombinant DNA (rDNA), synthetic DNA (sDNA), microorganisms, parasites, human/animal tissues, cell lines and cell cultures, blood and bodily fluids from humans and animals].

Overall control of the Program is provided by the University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), with administrative and technical support provided by the Biosafety Team in EHS.

The Canadian Biosafety Standards and Canadian Biosafety Handbook should be used as a reference for general biosafety and biosecurity practices. Other standards may apply based on the biological materials used and research projects (e.g. CFIA Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens, Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Plant Pests). Other containment standards and guidelines from Environment and Climate Change Canada may be required for genetically modified invertebrates and plants, or invasive species. This Manual is specific to the University of Toronto’s practices and operations.

University of Toronto Biosafety Permits

In order to use any biological material for research or teaching on university-controlled premises, a Biosafety Permit is required prior the use, storage, importation or transfer regardless of the risk group of a pathogen. The Biosafety Permit is focused on addressing biosafety and biosecurity risk of the biological materials involved, the nature and the location(s) of the work, the training of the personnel working with the biological materials and those who have access access to these materials or to the facility. The IBC is responsible for the approval of every Biosafety Permit request.

Emergency Procedures

Reporting of Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illnesses

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Biosafety Permit Application


Safety Practice and Procedures

Laboratory Waste Management

Laboratory Equipment

Medical Surveillance and Immunoprophylaxis

Importation, Use and Distribution of Biological Materials

Laboratory Decommissioning

Laboratory Standards

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