iGEM Stockholm 2017 - Lab Safety


In Sweden, the Swedish government issues the laws and regulations set by the Arbetsmiljöverket (Swedish Work Environment Authority) governing the biosafety, which follows the rules of the European Union.

Biosafety Training

All the team members followed a lab safety training and signed relevant safety documents prior to entering the BSL-1 and BSL-2 lab at Albanova, KTH and MTC, KI respectively. A thorough and comprehensive lab safety training was provided by the biosafety offices of the universities and the departmental specialists. Daily advice on safety questions and handling issues has been given by supervisors, instructors and affiliated researchers responsible for the relevant task, e.g. disposal of antibiotics. The following topics were covered by the initial biosafety training:

  • Lab access and rules (including appropriate clothing, eating and drinking, etc.)
  • Correct disposal of biological wastes and lab consumables
  • Responsible individuals (such as lab or departmental specialist or institutional biosafety officer)
  • Differences between biosafety levels
  • Biosafety equipment (such as biosafety cabinets)
  • Good microbial technique (such as lab practices)
  • Disinfection and sterilization
  • Emergency procedures
  • Transport rules
  • Chemicals, fire and electrical safety

Lab Biosafety Level

The iGEM Stockholm team of 2017 had both a BSL-I lab (Biosafety level I) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and a BSL-II lab (Biosafety level II) at Karolinska Institutet (KI) at our disposal. We were working mainly in the BSL-1 lab at KTH for our project.

Work areas

Which work areas do you use to handle biological materials?

  • Open bench
  • Biosafety cabinet
  • Chemical fume hood

Personal protective equipment

Team members were equipped with lab coats, protective goggles, and disposable nitrile gloves. No other protective equipment was necessary according to the lab biosafety guidelines.


We have worked with different strains of the biosafety level 1 approved bacterium E. coli such as K-12, TOP10, BL21(DE3), DH5alpha and TOP10-Delta EnvZ.

Specific risks

Our project does not include gene drives, nor have we worked with animals. Despite of the standard antibiotics used in laboratory facilities (Ampicillin, Gentamicin, Chloramphenicol, Kanamycin) we have neither applied nor spread antimicrobial resistance factors.

Safety documents

Stockholm Safety AlbaNova
Stockholm Safety MTC