When most people hear the term Safety Data Sheet, they think of chemical SDSs that manufacturers supply with orders of chemicals. However, there are also great biological safety data sheets available for review.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is a great resource for Pathogen Safety Data Sheets, which used to be called Material Safety Data Sheets for Infectious Substances. Much like chemical SDSs, Pathogen Safety Data Sheets describe the hazardous properties of human pathogens and provide recommendations for safely conducting work with the agents. Laboratory hazards, recommended precautions, and handling information are standard topics covered.
In addition to the PSDSs, a tremendous amount of biosafety resources are available on ABSA’s website. There is a risk group database that can search for the recommended risk group for specific bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
When conducting risk assessments and establishing biosafety work practices, these tremendous resources should be taken advantage of.