Secure & Sterile

High Security Clean Room Environments

In the UK, laboratories are categorized into different containment levels based on the risk associated with the work being carried out and the potential harm posed to human health and the environment. These levels are often referred to as “Laboratory Containment Levels” and are typically identified as shown below

Containment Level 1 (CL1): These laboratories handle low-risk agents or materials that are unlikely to cause disease in healthy individuals. Standard microbiological practices are usually sufficient for containment.

Containment Level 2 (CL2): CL2 laboratories handle moderate-risk agents or materials that could cause human disease, but with effective treatment and preventive measures available. Additional safety measures such as specialized equipment, training, and facility design are required.

Containment Level 3 (CL3): CL3 laboratories deal with high-risk agents or materials that can cause serious or potentially lethal diseases. These labs require stringent containment measures, including controlled access, infrastructure hardening, specialized ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Containment Level 4 (CL4): These are the highest containment laboratories designed for work with dangerous pathogens that pose a severe threat to public health, often without available treatments or vaccines. CL4 labs have the most stringent safety protocols, including highly controlled access, infrastructure hardening,Β airlocks, and complete containment suits.

Each containment level has specific requirements for facility design, equipment, training, and operational procedures to ensure the safety of laboratory workers, the public, and the environment.