Navigation and service

Biological Agents

Systematic protection for activities involving biological agents

In Germany, over 5 million workers could potentially come into contact with biological agents in their workplaces. This can lead to the development of infections, allergies or toxic reactions.

Woman collects eggs in a modern chicken coop © Uwe Völkner, Fotoagentur FOX

Biological agents include, for example, hazardous bacteria, moulds, parasites, viruses and prions. The known biological agents currently run to several thousand species, including their genetically modified forms. As biological agents are so widely disseminated, they are not only present in laboratory activities. Contact with biological agents affects above all those working in the waste and recycling industry, in healthcare, with infected persons, in the veterinary sector, and in animal breeding.

Some biological agents trigger infections and can therefore cause harm to workers. Others are not as infectious but can produce sensitising or toxic reactions. The latter group includes some moulds and a few species of bacteria. These play a significant role in agriculture and building renovation, among other sectors, and can cause sensitising and toxic reactions in the respiratory tract.

Challenges for occupational safety

Challenges for occupational safety result from the combination of multiple factors when biological agents are handled in the workplace. This means it is often difficult to assess the hazard, as many mixtures are of unknown composition. Workers also come into contact with biological agents in a wide range of workplaces. Furthermore, account must also be taken of factors such as the changing world of work and different climatic conditions.

Risk assessment for biological agents

With respect to occupational safety, BAuA operates at multiple levels in the field of biological agents. With a view to ensuring health protection for employees who come into contact with biological agents, BAuA's experts participate in updating the technical rules as part of the Committee for Biological Agents (ABAS). In addition, BAuA operates laboratories in which researchers develop new measurement methods and assessment tools, as well as conducting systematic fieldwork in relation to bioaerosols in the workplace.

Publications

Further information

Committee on Biological Agents (ABAS)

The advisory body of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) on the Biological Agents Ordinance

Find out more : Committee on Biological Agents (ABAS) …

Occupational Health Surveillance

Occupational health surveillance during work with hazardous substances and biological agents

Find out more : Occupational Health Surveillance …

Research Projects

Project numberF 2547 StatusOngoing Project Determination of exposure during phage application in pig barns

Find out more : Determination of exposure during phage application in pig barns …

Project numberF 2546 StatusOngoing Project Characterisation of bioaerosols in the fine dust fraction of indoor air

Find out more : Characterisation of bioaerosols in the fine dust fraction of indoor air …

Project numberF 2509 StatusOngoing Project Relative quantification of proteins in cell culture system exposed to biological agents by mass spectrometry

Find out more : Relative quantification of proteins in cell culture system exposed to biological agents by mass spectrometry …

Project numberF 2491 StatusOngoing Project Assessment and evaluation of the toxic potential of biological agents on the basis of respiratory tract-related in vitro models: Subproject II: Development of an exposure system for the assessment of volatile metabolites of biological agents

Find out more : Assessment and evaluation of the toxic potential of biological agents on the basis of respiratory tract-related in vitro models: Subproject II: Development of an exposure system for the assessment of volatile metabolites of biological agents …

Project numberF 2489 StatusOngoing Project Assessment of health effects by bioaerosols in case of mould

Find out more : Assessment of health effects by bioaerosols in case of mould …

Project numberF 2486 StatusOngoing Project Determination of the inhalative exposure to hazardous substances and biological agents during the commercial use of gardening devices

Find out more : Determination of the inhalative exposure to hazardous substances and biological agents during the commercial use of gardening devices …

Project numberF 2470 StatusOngoing Project Background exposure to mycotoxins - Determination of deoxynivalenol in Environmental Specimen Bank samples

Find out more : Background exposure to mycotoxins - Determination of deoxynivalenol in Environmental Specimen Bank samples …

Project numberF 2441 StatusCompleted Project Analysis of bioaerosol-borne toxins by proteomics technologies

Find out more : Analysis of bioaerosol-borne toxins by proteomics technologies …

Project numberF 2426 StatusCompleted Project Molecular differentiation of living and dead biological agents and detection of the tenacity of airborne biological agents

Find out more : Molecular differentiation of living and dead biological agents and detection of the tenacity of airborne biological agents …

Project numberF 2383 StatusCompleted Project Detection of airborne biological agents under difficult analytical conditions - background measurement and exclusion of inhibitory substances

Find out more : Detection of airborne biological agents under difficult analytical conditions - background measurement and exclusion of inhibitory substances …

Project numberF 2356 StatusCompleted Project Exposure of hatchery workers to airborne bacteria under consideration of existing antibiotic resistances

Find out more : Exposure of hatchery workers to airborne bacteria under consideration of existing antibiotic resistances …

Project numberF 2350 StatusCompleted Project A model system of lung cells for investigation of bacterial pathogenicity

Find out more : A model system of lung cells for investigation of bacterial pathogenicity …

Project numberF 2331 StatusCompleted Project Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in emissions from the industrial livestock farming

Find out more : Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in emissions from the industrial livestock farming …

Project numberF 2330 StatusCompleted Project Exposure to biological agents at biogas production

Find out more : Exposure to biological agents at biogas production …

Publications

No hits

No suitable search results?

Cookies help us to provide our services. By using our website you agree that we can use cookies. Read more about our Privacy Policy and visit the following link: Privacy Policy

OK