The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Pathogen Regulation Directorate (PRD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA) and the Human Pathogens Importation Regulations (HPIR). As part of its efforts to promote compliance and reduce the risk to public health and safety, PRD provides biosafety training and tools to those who work with human pathogens and toxins. Providing these programs helps standardize procedures and mitigate risks, contributing to a biosafety and biosecurity regime that strengthens safe handling of pathogens and toxins which, in turn, protects the general public.
PRD has approximately 200 Pathogen Safety Data Sheets (PSDS) (formerly Material Safety Data Sheets) for infectious substances available. These technical documents provide detailed descriptions of the hazardous properties of specific human pathogens or toxins and recommendations for work practices involving these agents. The PSDS have been under revision and the updated material is posted as it becomes available.
The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are currently working together to create an updated set of Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines (CBSG) in an effort to streamline biosafety requirements and lessen the impact on stakeholders regulated by both Agencies.
Biosafety Advisories are developed when the data obtained from a Risk Assessment of a new or emerging pathogen of interest indicates that new physical and/or operational requirements are required for persons to work with the pathogen safely. The new operational and/or physical requirements need to be disseminated to interested parties as soon as possible for the safe handling of the material; in order to ensure accuracy they are reviewed frequently as more information becomes available.
Special Biosafety Notifications are developed when the data obtained from a Risk Assessment for a particular pathogen indicates that no changes will be required to the pre-existing physical and operational requirements. The notification is created to emphasize these requirements to limit the spread of the particular pathogen.
For more information about the work of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Pathogen Regulation Directorate, please call (613) 957-1779 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Pathogen Regulation Directorate