Biosafety Cabinets And Their Types

An important piece of safety equipment is the Biological Safety Cabinet (BSCs) in which manipulations of infectious microorganisms are performed. Biological safety cabinets are the primary means of containment developed for working safely with infectious microorganisms. Clean benches that direct towards the operator are not bio-safety cabinets and must not be used for handling infectious, toxic or sensitizing materials.

BSCs are designed to provide both a clean work environment and protection for employees who work with biological hazards therefore biosafety cabinet’s uses vertical laminar airflow to create a barrier to airborne particles, such as microorganisms as vertical laminar air flow provides protection for both the personnel and the product. Biosafety cabinets use the HEPA filtered air for the re-circulation over the work area.

The HEPA filter removes airborne particles from the air, but does not remove chemical fumes; therefore Biosafety cabinets should not be confused with the fume hood. Biosafety cabinets are not the Fume Hood. Biosafety cabinets are equipped with Ultraviolet lamp that provides protection against contamination, but as the UV light cannot penetrate the dust particles, therefore another chemical disinfectant should be use for the cleaning and decontaminating the work area.

Use of biosafety cabinets is recommended for the manipulations of pathogens or antineoplastics that can produce aerosols and for all the airborne transmitted pathogens (such as Brucellosis, TB, etc). Bsc Class I an open-front negative pressure cabinet. The exhaust air from the bio-safety cabinet is filtered by a HEPA filter. This class provides personnel and environmental protection, but not product protection.

Bsc Class II is an open-front, ventilated cabinet. This cabinet provides a HEPA-filter, recirculated mass air flow within the work space. The exhaust fan from the cabinet is also filtered by HEPA filters. This class provides personnel, environment and product protection. Bsc Class III is a totally enclosed ventilated cabinet of gas-tight construction. Operations within the Class III cabinet are conducted through attached glove.

When in use, the bio-safety Class III cabinet is maintained through harmful air pressure of at least 0.5 inches water gauge. Supply air is drawn into the biosafty cabinet through HEPA filters. The cabinet exhaust fan is filtered by two HEPA filters, installed in series, before discharge outside of the facility. The exhaust fan for the Class III cabin is generally divide from the exhaust fans of the facility’s ventilation system.

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