A biohazard is any organism or its derivative that could adversely affect another organism, such as the following:

  • Pathogenic bacteria or viruses
  • Toxins derived from plants or microbes
  • Venoms
  • Prions
  • Human blood or other body fluids
  • Tissue collected from wild animals
  • Recombinant vector systems
  • Insects that are not indigenous 

All biological materials used for research, teaching, and testing purposes at the U of A must be registered with the institutional Biosafety Program and evaluated to determine if they are regulated. The following process maps delineates which biological materials are regulated in Canada. The maps are intended to help Principal Investigators (PIs) and/or supervisors understand what is regulated and which containment standard applies to which materials.

Read the U of A Biosafety Guidelines to learn more about working safely with biohazardous materials.


Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)