30 Biosafety Manual • A shielded electric incinerator or hot bead sterilizer should be used instead of an open flame. • Disposable plastic loops and needles are also excellent alternatives. • Open flames should not be used in biosafety cabinets because they disrupt the laminar airflow and may be a fire hazard. Flow Cytometry Flow cytometers operate under pressure, generating aerosols. When flow cytometry is used to study known or potentially biohazardous materials, such as unfixed human or primate cells or known pathogens, operators may be at risk of exposure to aerosolized materials. When possible, all biological samples should be fixed (for example, with formalin) before being run through the flow cytometer. When performing flow cytometry on known or potentially biohazardous materials cannot be avoided, the following guidelines must be followed to prevent personal exposure. • Flow cytometry must be conducted in a laboratory that meets BSL-2 criteria at minimum. • Flow cytometry must be conducted in either a certified chemical fume hood, certified biosafety cabinet, or other approved negative-exhaust ventilation system. • Personnel must wear proper PPE, including gloves, a lab coat, and eye protection. • The catch basin should have an appropriate disinfectant added when the unit is in use. • The flow cytometer and lab bench must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Refer also to Wiley Cytometry Guidelines for additional references regarding flow cytometry biosafety. Note the article “Biosafety Guidelines for Sorting of Unfixed Cells.” Evaluating Laboratory Safety The Laboratory Safety Survey includes criteria for work with infectious agents (from the current edition of BMBL) and for work with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (from the NIH guidelines) Additional criteria for general laboratory safe work practices that apply to all laboratories at ISU are covered in the Laboratory Safety Manual. A Laboratory Safety Survey should be completed by laboratory personnel annually to help ensure that good laboratory safety practices are being used.