Case Study

Effective, Safe Biological Decontamination Enables Researchers to Resume Work

Biosafety Cabinets and Incubators in BSL-2 Labs Thoroughly Cleaned

The Challenge

Scientists in biological safety level 2 laboratories discovered contamination, which compromised ongoing research. They attempted to disinfect the space but did not succeed; basic cleaning does not remove contamination on equipment such as biological safety cabinets. This life science company needed an experienced environmental, health, and safety (EHS) partner that could thoroughly decontaminate the laboratories so research could resume. Time was of the essence. The company contacted Triumvirate Environmental to comprehensively address the contamination in the space and on the equipment and get research back on track. 

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Triumvirate Environmental's Decontamination Efforts

To begin the engagement, our Triumvirate team established a detailed work plan and schedule with the company. We then initiated a decontamination cleaning, taking care to ensure no tracking or migration of contamination occurred. The work included HEPA vacuums, lint-free towels, and surface decontamination of all supplies and equipment within the laboratories.

In conjunction with the surface decontamination, we decontaminated 11 biological safety cabinets with chlorine dioxide gas in accordance with the NSF/ANSI International Standard 49. We also properly cleaned and serviced 22 incubators per the manufacturer's specifications. During the work, we identified several potential sources of contamination in the pre-filter of the biological safety cabinets and behind the incubator baffles. These areas are not readily accessible or routinely decontaminated, but we eliminated the contamination. A thorough cleaning of equipment in accordance with the equipment make and model is crucial to successful decontamination.

To complete the project, we conducted an assessment, including surface sampling for chemical residuals and biological contamination, to confirm clean conditions. The result was a successful decontamination throughout the laboratories.

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Benefits to the Client

At the conclusion of our decontamination activities, all areas were cleaned and a report was provided describing all work conducted, the conditions of the laboratories, and proper certifications. The life science company was pleased with our efforts and the results. Our team completed the work safely, stayed within the initial budget estimate, achieved the quick timeline, and allowed the company’s personnel to return to conducting research with minimal downtime.

Following the decontamination, and understanding the need to adhere to proper EHS procedures (including preventive maintenance), the company continued to work with us. They participated in our JumpStart program to implement and assist with better processes and compliance throughout the organization. Since the decontamination work, no reports of contamination have been noted.

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