BioSafety Programs -- EH&S Liquid Nitrogen Freezer Storage

On December 5, 1999, Lawrence M. Gibbs, Associate Vice-Provost, Department of Environmental Health and Safety issued a memo to the University Lab Safety Partners on a -135C liquid nitrogen freezer available for use in the EH&S Radiation Waste Area under specified guidelines. Those guidelines are as follows:

The primary emphasis is the Sherman Fairchild Building whose occupants do not have emergency power and have libraries of viruses that are irreplaceable. The other guideline is that specimens placed in the freezer are representative of the research and not for immediate use. The freezer is intended for long-term storage, and the occupants are not expected to access specimens unless the specimens in the main laboratory are compromised or otherwise not available.
Conditions for use of the freezer are as follows:

1. Ellyn Segal (725-1473, must be contacted request space in the freezer. A one paragraph justification must be included, which states the following:

a. what agents would be stored
b. volume stored
c. availability of emergency power in current location
d. need, if any, to access specimens in the foreseeable future
e. complete inventory sheet with a designated laboratory point of contact

2. If approved, the laboratory will make an appointment to transfer agents to EH&S. Agents shall be placed in a leak-proof, hard-plastic container filled with dry ice or other suitable coolant. This container will be labeled with the universal biohazard symbol.

3. The specimens will be placed in a tray that has been color-coded by laboratory. The inventory sheets will be placed in a binder attached to the freezer.

4. The laboratory will be briefed on the following:

a. The freezer area is accessible only with an EH&S escort; call 723-3765 or 725-1473 for access. Laboratory members will be responsible for placing vials in the racks and labeling of the vials/rack. Laboratory members will physically lower the rack into freezer. Access to freezer is limited to normal work hours -- Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.
b. The freezer is only opened for the addition of specimens, or if Praxair when filling the liquid nitrogen, checks for a seal and the efficacy of the nitrogen filling system.
c. The freezer has an audio-visual alarm. The freezer is checked daily by EH&S personnel. If the alarm goes off during the weekend, the freezer has at least 72 hours of adequate temperature.
d. EH&S must be notified if:

i. the point of contact has changed
ii. the PI is leaving Stanford
iii. the lab needs to remove specimens
iv. the lab needs to add specimens
v. the department account number has changed
vi. the specimens are no longer needed