Environmental Safety and Health Policy

Policy Responsibilities:
University Safety Committees

Chemical and Biological Safety Committee

The University Chemical and Biological Safety Committee oversees policies related to the use of chemical and biological agents at the University to ensure that they are used in a safe and healthful manner and in accordance with all applicable government regulations. The committee is composed of faculty and staff appointed by the Vice-Provost for Research. The members are selected based on their knowledge of the health and environmental effects of chemicals and biological agents, and the risks associated with those effects.

The committee has the authority to require the immediate cessation of any University activity should it determine that such activity represents a substantial and immediate threat to human health or the environment.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee reviews all research projects and activities involving recombinant DNA (rDNA) to assure that practices for constructing and using rDNA molecules are appropriate to the level of risk presented by the work. Committee members include faculty and staff with experience and expertise in various aspects of rDNA technology appointed by the Vice-Provost for Research. In addition, at least two voting committee members are not affiliated with the University and represent the interest of the surrounding community. Collectively, the committee has the capability to assess the safety of rDNA research and any potential risk to public health or environment.

The committee has the authority to disapprove, terminate or suspend activities not conforming with its guidelines, and to conduct unannounced inspections of rDNA laboratories.

Radiation Safety Committee

The Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for establishing policies on all matters relating to the safe handling and use of ionizing radiation. The Committee is comprised of administrators, faculty and staff appointed by the Vice-Provost. Appointees are selected from the roster of active authorized users of radiation and University administrators are appointed as ex officio members.

The committee has the authority to approve the purchase and use of radioactive materials and place irreversible restrictions on or terminate the use of radiation in a research study.