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Description:This photograph showed a CDC scientist as she was in the process of pipetting specimens in one of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) laboratories, located in Atlanta, GA. The scientist was wearing a protective air-tight suit equipped with a helmet and face mask. She was seated at a negatively-pressurized laminar flow hood that allowed no air flow to escape back into the lab environment. Using this negatively pressurized, hooded environment any airborne pathogens, or toxic vapors are drawn back into the hooded container, and up into a filtered ventilation system, thereby, avoiding the spread of contaminants through the laboratory.
Biosafety levels for infectious agents are in part defined as follows:

- BSL-1 agents are not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adults

- BSL-2 agents are associated with human disease, hazard = percutaneous injury, ingestion, or mucous membrane exposure

- BSL-3 agents are indigenous or exotic, and have the potential for aerosol transmission; diseases may have serious or lethal consequences

- BSL-4 pathogens are extremely dangerous, exotic agents, which pose a high risk of life-threatening disease, may be aerosol-transmitted lab infections; or related agents with an unknown risk of transmission

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (16.28 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC
Creation Date:
Photo Credit:
Links:NIH - Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.