Environmental Health and Safety

Controlled Chemicals, Microorganisms, and Toxins

Export Administration Regulations (EAR), enforced by the U. S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security require controls on the use and handling, as well as shipment out of the country, of a number of commodities. Included in this list of commodities are numerous chemicals, microorganisms, and toxins. Materials listed include both research and non-research items. If you use any of the chemicals, microorganisms, or toxins listed or intend to ship them out of the country please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects as soon as possible.

The CDC Select Agents Standard, based on the "Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996," was designed to establish a system of safeguards regarding a specific list of microorganisms and toxins. Registration under these rules requires that a Responsible Facility Official certify that the facility and its laboratory operations meet biosafety level 2, 3, or 4 requirements for working with agents as described in the BMBL. EHS manages the registration process and a member of the EHS staff is the Responsible Facility Official. Any investigator who uses CDC Select Agents must formally apply and provide information regarding laboratory practices, equipment, and other pertinent information. Within the University, all proposed use of CDC Select Agents (biologicals and toxins) shall require approval of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Materials which are specifically covered by these policies can be found in the CDC Select Agents List and researchers using these materials should contact the EHS Lab Safety Coordinator.

Subsequent to an agreement between the Texas Department of Safety and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a list of controlled substances analogues and precursors, as well as select laboratory apparatus are restricted and subject to various controls. Anyone working with chemicals or using laboratory apparatus should become familiar with the Memorandum of Understanding potentially restricting their use.