Environmental Health & Safety

Biosafety Glossary

Biohazardous Materials

Materials that can cause disease in humans or cause significant environmental or agricultural impact.

Biohazardous Waste

Any solid or liquid waste that may present a threat of infection to humans. For more information, refer to the biohazardous waste Fast Facts sheet.

Biological Hazards

Any hazard that is likely from biohazardous materials.


The objective of containment is to confine biohazards and to reduce the potential exposure of the laboratory worker, persons outside of the laboratory, and the environment to potentially infectious agents.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

A nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and some viruses

Radioactive Waste

Useless radioactive materials that are left after a laboratory/commercial process has been completed

Hazardous Waste

Liquid, solid, or (contained) gas waste that is potentially dangerous or harmful to human health or the environment. Includes anything considered explosive, flammable, toxic, corrosive, oxidizing, irritant, carcinogenic, or otherwise harmful, and is likely to cause injury.

Infectious Agent

See Pathogens

Medical Waste

Solid waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals.


An organism that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope and includes bacteria, protozoans, and certain algae and fungi.


Material Safety Data Sheet


Biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. Also known as "Infectious Agent". Examples include Brucella abortus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

More Information

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Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Health & Safety

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E-mail: ehs@ucr.edu