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Laboratory Safety

environmental health & safety


Biological Safety

The purpose of Biological Safety is to contain and thereby reduce or eliminate the potential exposure of lab workers and the general public to potentially hazardous biological and infectious agents. Primary protection for lab workers is provided through the use of safety equipment and good microbiological techniques.

Boston College’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) meets twice annually. It oversees lab practices and approves protocols involving biohazards and recombinant DNA work before they begin.


Radiation Safety

The purpose of Radiation Safety is to keep exposure of lab workers and the punlic to radiation As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). This is done by using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), training users in appropriate techniques, keeping work areas clean, monitoring for accidents and spills of radioactive materials, and regulatory compliance.Prior to using radioactive materials, all lab workers must undergo the Initial Radiation Safety Training.  The Principal Investigator must submit her/his protocoll for approval by Boston College’s Radiation Safety Committee.

The Radiation Safety Committee meets quarterly to approve protocols and keep the University in compliance. For more information, please see BC’s Radiation Safety Program.



The purpose of the Chemical Safety Program is to ensure the proper handling of hazardous chemicals, as well as hazardous waste management and disposal. Exposure to hazardous chemicals is kept at a minimum by using the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and by performing experiments in a certified chemical fume hood.

The Chemical Hygiene Committee meets twice annually; this committee oversees lab safety issues and reviews information regarding pertinent regulations and requirements.

For more information about any of these programs, including manuals, please contact Eric Johnson, Senior Environmental Health and Safety Officer, at (617) 552-0363.


The purpose of the Boston College Laser Safety Program is to work with laser users to identify potential hazards to health and safety associated with lasers, laser systems, and laser operations and to prescribe suitable means for the evaluation and control of these hazards.  The Laser Safety Program is administered by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the Radiation Safety Committee.  Eric Johnson is BC's Radiation and Laser Safety Officer.