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By Joseph A. D'Alù
Emergency Preparedness Article Use Policy
Another of the codes and standards for design of BSL3 facilities, which handle toxic and lethal agents that have some known remedy or treatment, is published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and NIH:
This standard has evolved through the course of five revisions, the two most recent being the 1999 BMBL fourth edition and the 2007 BMBL fifth edition, the latter which was revised and re-issued with amendments in December 2009. (Click here for an Excel-based spreadsheet outlining changes from the BMBL fourth edition to the fifth edition.) While the BMBL is only a recommended standard and not mandated to any level approaching the building code, it can be argued that the BMBL is a primary reference of BSL3 standards from the points of view of facilities performance and user operations.
A multitude of changes were made in the 2007 BMBL fifth edition from the 1999 BMBL fourth edition document. While some changes are subtle, others deeply impact the required operation of building systems serving any BSL3 facility. Major facility infrastructure design requirements include:
The fifth edition acknowledges that custom requirements may be needed, e.g., shower facilities, bubble-tight dampers on ventilation system supply and exhaust, sanitary waste kill systems, advanced security, etc. The fifth edition also requires verification of operational parameters (commissioning) and procedures prior to occupancy with annual re-certification.
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