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iGEM Safety

Members of our lab team were required to take biological and chemical safety training courses offered through the Department of Occupational Health and Safety at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Each safety seminar was divided into 2 parts, each part being 2 hours in length followed by a short exam. In addition, due to our proximity to patients and hospital staff each member of the team was required to present proof of immunizations and a recent TB test as well as attending a hospital orientation and sensitivity training. We were closely supervised by our instructors during further lab-specific training for the first 4-6 weeks of our summer work period. As we were involved in setting up a new lab this year, we created and actively maintained a binder of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) as required by WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Material Information System).

Do any of our project ideas raise safety issues in terms of researcher safety, public safety, or environmental safety?

None beyond the usual safety requirements as provided for in a level-2 laboratory (Canadian standard).

Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at our institution?

Yes - The Research Training Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children.

What does our local biosafety group think about your project?

The Research Institute has approached us to profile our work in media promotions. We take this as a sign that they approve.

Do any of the new BioBrick parts that we made this year raise any safety issues?

No. Our key part is already native to bacteria. Our manipulations lay the groundwork for new technologies that may influence the cost of producing some medicines. This is generally seen as a positive.