The long awaited updated (6th) edition of the BMBL was released on 17 November 2020. The BMBL was first published in 1984 with the previous version of the BMBL (5th Edition) published in December 2009. This is the foremost guidance document utilised in the US for biosafety practice and is a joint CDC/NIH publication. It is a very handy resource to have on hand – even down-under! Although the Biosafety Safety Levels (similar to our Physical Containment levels) are US-specific, these can be relevant when considering biological material agreements for cells, microbiological reference cultures and other materials imported from the USA. The Agent Summary Statements (Section VIII) are also very useful when conducting risk assessments along with the general biosafety guidance provided in the appendices.
This edition of BMBL includes revised sections, agent summary statements, and appendices. We harmonized the recommendations included in this edition with guidance issued and regulations promulgated by other organizations and federal agencies. Wherever possible, we clarified both the language and intent of the information provided. In order to serve the needs of our community better, this edition includes new appendices on the following topics: inactivation and verification; laboratory sustainability; large-scale biosafety; and clinical laboratory biosafety.