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"In exobiology (i.e., NASA's policy for containing alien microbes that may exist on space samples - sometimes called "biosafety level 5")."

Biosafety level 5 (P5) labs daesn't exist =P

Lifted material[edit]

Heads up everyone. This page has been lifted from "". Check it out at

good work fixing that up. It's probably the best single page on this anywhere.

No. It's only the beginning of the point. It's leaving whole pieces in the dark. 1. Considering the meaning of a word made of BIO and SAFETY, it could apply to any "thing" dangerous for a biological living, be it a human, or a tiger, or a slug, or a bacteria. And "thing" could be about everything, CFC that ultimately are responsable for death, through global warming, or asbestos dust as it may lead to cancer, or a bacteria in my pate, or a human being to another species. How do we draw the line ? 2. What does loss of biological integrity means ? Do we refer here to the simple disappearance/death of one living being ? Or do we refer only to physical degradation (cancer...) or loss of reproduction capabilities (terratogeny), or irreversible genetic transformation ? Or do we refer to a whole species in danger ? How do we know/judge when a species is in danger ? 3. Where are the irradiation risks ? Or being run over by a car for that matter :) ? 4. That doesnt indicate some languages don't really have a word for biosafety. Or when they have one, it is not used, or utterly confused with bio-security. We should insist here on the difference between biosafety and biosecurity.

I agree with all of this, but a previously careful article that made these exact distinctions was "edited" back to the current one in biosecurity, which is now a bit of a mess. talk:biosecurity should have more of those issues... but read what's there first.

The purpose of this article (biosafety) is to introduce the range of meanings and to hopefully show that the passive measures taken in each profession are not coordinated. Coordination is more important in biohazard response than in prevention... prevention may well be futile.

If you're going to get into "anything dangerous", that's just "security" - what distinguishes "biosecurity" is that the threats are too small to see... likewise what distinguishes "biosafety" is the same... threats too small to see once they're out of the door... and in your body... or your garden...

Okay, so you say the difference between safety and bio-safety (or security and bio-security) is just a matter a "size" (hence detection) ? If so, that word biosafety was maybe not the best one to be chosen I would distinguish the "safety" in its broad use (living beings, and material (prevention against destruction of a network for example)), then safety applied to living beings, and finally what seems to be defined as bio-safety.

In other words, the agents responsable of a bio threat are those we may "see" too late to avoid a threat, either because we have no way to detect them, or because we detect them too late for a preventive action to be enough to avoid being harmed ? So an bio-agent would be defined by being

- dangerous, or only potentially dangerous to a living being

- either detectable at levels such as they are already dangererous (eg cadmium or benzo-a-pyrene, detected at ppb levels, and estimated dangerous at these levels) or only detectable by advanced (expensive, non-portable, hard to use) technology, or non-detectable at all by any known technology (exobio)

>Coordination is more important in biohazard response than in prevention... prevention may well be futile.

I do not agree with that. It depends very much on the profession. Some professions are very much uncoordinated, and it is true it may not matter very much on a prevention point of view. Prevention might well be unsufficient, especially in those cases where the bio-agent is so little known that an appropriate prevention cannot be defined (prions maybe, exobio certainly). In theses cases, prevention might be futile.

In others professions, coordinated prevention is essential (pcbs, nitrates, nuclear wastes), is developping, and may require more legal support. This is especially true and well adapted to situations where the bio-agent cycle of appearance disapearance/transformation is well known. This doesn't necessarily imply the effects on biosphere are open-source knowledge.

So bio-security is especially important in cases where the agent effects are of very high risk on human life and ecology, and in cases where the risks are maybe not so high but where prevention is not applicable.

The relationship between the topic and ecology....[edit]

-- (talk) 06:06, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The relationship of the topic and virus....[edit]

-- (talk) 06:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The relationship between fecal and disease control....[edit]

-- (talk) 06:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 06:51, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 07:03, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 07:15, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


The following scientific articles and book may be useful for this article: