Plant Containment Symbol

Plant Containment Symbol

This plant containment symbol serves to counter the misapplication of the universal biohazard symbol. While it is important to identify plants grown under containment, seldom is there a risk to humans. The universal biohazard symbol is reserved for appropriate risk situations to ensure its validity. (From here)

After being published in Biological Safety: Principles and Practices 5th ed. and being presented at several conferences (including ABSA 2016) and workshops, the new plant containment symbol is making the rounds.  It was originally conceived in conjunction with biosafety staff at the University of Wisconsin and then improved last summer with assistance from a design firm.  It has been positively vetted by containment experts, plant scientists, and biosafety professionals and is being posted on various society and other relevant websites as time, interest, and permissions develop.  The hope is to use the symbol when you require any type of plant and related organism containment be that regulated or not.  Examples could be working under an APHIS-PPQ permit, transgenic work of consequence (e.g. BL2-P and higher), or standard work with insects that vector plant virus.  When plant research have a risk to humans or animal subjects, then one would certainly choose the universal biohazard symbol (UBS) with or without the plant symbol.   The motivation to create the symbol was to counter the misapplication of the UBS and offer an appropriate risk designator.  Just as the UBS was wisely created to identify biohazards at Dow Chemical in 1966, the hope is this symbol will be widely circulated though the opportunities for its use are a but small subset of general biosafety practice.

The symbol can be freely used at your discretion, similar to the UBS.  It cannot be used for commercial purposes.

 

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