BSL-3 is preferred over BSL-2 for working with unknown biological threat samples in that many of these agents may cause serious or potentially lethal disease as a result of exposure by inhalation. Laboratory personnel have specific training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents, and are supervised by competent scientists who are experienced in working with these agents. All procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials are conducted within BSCs or other physical containment devices, or by personnel who wear appropriate personal-protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory should have special engineering and design features. Handling easily dispersed biological threat powders such as dried B. anthracis spores is especially hazardous. In addition to working within a Class II BSC, it is recommended that laboratory personnel wear double layers of protective gloves and disposable arm protectors to guard against contamination of laboratory apparel. It is also recommended that disposable protective gloves and arm protectors be either bleached or discarded before being removed from the BSC. If available, it is preferable to work within a Class III gloved BSC. Great care should be used to develop methods to safely remove materials from these cabinets while protecting the materials from moisture and decontaminating solutions, which may alter forensic evidence.
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