Animal Biological Safety Levels (ABSL)




Safety Equipment
(Primary Barriers)

(Secondary Barriers)


Not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adults

Standard animal care and management practices, including appropriate medical surveillance programs

As required for normal care of each species

Standard animal facility

No recirculation of exhaust air

Directional air flow recommended

Handwashing sink recommended


Associated with human disease. Hazard: percutaneous exposure, ingestion, mucous membrane exposure

ABSL-1 practices plus:

Limited access

Biohazard warning signs

“Sharps” precautions

Biosafety manual

Decontamination of all infectious waste and of animal cages prior to washing

ABSL-1 equipment plus primary barriers: containment equipment appropriate for animal species; PPEs: laboratory coats; gloves; face and respiratory protection as needed

ABSL-1 facility plus:

Autoclave available

Handwashing sink available in the animal room

Mechanical cage washer used


Indigenous or exotic agents with potential for aerosol transmission; disease may have serious health consequences

ABSL-2 practices plus:

Controlled access

Decontamination of clothing before laundering

Cages decontaminated before bedding removed

Disinfectant foot bath as needed

ABSL-2 equipment plus:

Containment equipment for housing animals and cage dumping activities

Class I or II BSCs available for manipulative procedures (inoculation, necropsy) that may create infectious aerosols. PPE: appropriate respiratory protection

ABSL-2 facility plus:

Physical separation from access corridors

Self-closing, double-door access

Sealed penetrations

Sealed windows

Autoclave available in facility


Dangerous/exotic agents that pose high risk of life-threatening disease; aerosol-transmission, or related agents with unknown risk of transmission

ABSL-3 practices plus:

Entrance through change room where personal clothing is removed and laboratory clothing is put on; shower on exiting

All wastes are decontaminated before removal from facility

ABSL-3 equipment plus:

Maximum containment equipment (i.e. Class III BSCs or partial containment equipment in combination with full-body, air-supplied, positive pressure personnel suit) used for all procedures and activities

ABSL-3 facility plus:

Separate building or isolated zone

Dedicated supply and exhaust, vacuum, and decon systems

Other requirements outlined in the BMBL text


Esco is the only company globally that offers the entire range of Biological Safety Cabinets including customized cabinets.

Our range spans from



Class 1A1

Class 1A1/Class 3 Hybrid

BSL 2 


Class 2A2

Class 2B2


Floor Mounted


Class 2A2

Class 2B2




Class 2B2

Class 3 Cabinets

Class 2A2 connected to Class 3

Class 2B2 connected to Class 3

Floor Mounted


Class 2A2

Class 2B2

Class 3 Cabinets


Class 3 Cabinets


BioBooths (walk in / floor mounted Biological safety cabinets).

Esco as of 2016 is the only global company providing complete BioContainment range certified to both NSF 49 and EN 12469.

This makes us the global leader in BioSafety.

Esco Group of Companies