Biological Safety Cabinets

Operator, environment and product protection

Biological Safety Cabinets Сlass II

Biological Safety Cabinets Сlass 2 (Microbiological Safety Cabinet Class 2) is for physical isolation of pathogenic biological agents (PBA) and microorganisms to prevent airborne infection of the staff and contamination of the air in the working room and to protect the environment...

Operator, environment and product protection

Biological Safety Cabinets Class III

Biological safety cabinet Class 3 (Microbiological Safety Cabinet Class 3) PROTECT provides maximum operator protection from the biohazardous aerosols. 

Introduction to Biological safety cabinets

Microbiological safety cabinets are specially designed in order to operate securely with contaminated and risky processes and materials that take place in labs. Bio safety cabinets are used to prevent environmental harm as a result of aerosols released through the hazardous practices carried out in the laboratory.

A biological safety cabinet is a ventilated cubicle that uses HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) to filter out all the pathogenic biological agents and microorganisms from the workspace environment and disseminates unpolluted air to clean up the environment.

Purposes of biohazard safety cabinets

A biosafety cabinethas three basic uses; personnel, product, and environmental. Personnel protection is when the operator is secured from any hazardous accidents while through unsafe pathogens released from within the BSC. The person operating with a biological safety hood is protected through unidirectional air downflow and an air curtain in the work opening of  the biosafety cabinets.

Product protection occurs when the processes, techniques, or experiments carried out within the laboratory are prevented from hazardous toxins and impurities. Environmental protection is the most significant purpose of a safety cabinet because it involves the protection of the entire workplace in which the person operates, and the processes take place. Cleaning up the workplace environment is a pre-requisite to perform the other two protection functions.

Classification and Certification process 

When choosing a biological safety cabinet, classification is an important factor to consider. The standards of each type of cabinet are different depending on the sort of purpose that each one can perform. BSCs are classified into three types by a US-based organization known as Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

These classifications are carried out once all the biosafety cabinets have gone through proper certifications under National Sanitation Foundation International. The NSF has a responsibility to ensure that all BSCs are manufactured, installed, and used according to the minimum international standards required and they are classified according to their bio-containment and bio-safety levels. 

Testing methods are also applied to the safety cabinets in accordance with the requirements of local standards to check whether they are used and maintained by the revised standards. Industries using these cabinets are given reminders at least a month or so before the expiry date of their cabinets and are asked to replace them with new ones and re-certify them at the time of installation.

Uncertified or expired biosafety cabinets are strictly prohibited for use in labs because of the infectious microorganisms that might be emitted through their operation.

Types of Biosafety Cabinets

There are three main classes of biological safety cabinets. They differ regarding their applications and the type of biosafety that they are capable of providing. Our company provides all the three classes, and they have an industry-wide usage in both public and private sector.

Our biosafety cabinets are designed to provide the best possible risk protection in medical, education, as well as healthcare industries. Customers from a wide range of industries buy our safety cabinets because of the standards that we have maintained and the experts that are industrious in microbiology and make sure their integrity is not bargained at any cost.

Class I Biological Safety Cabinet

This biological safety hood is built up in a way that it can only provide personnel and environmental protection. It has a glass shield in the front and an inward airflow that helps the polluted air to constantly move inside the cabinet rather than going towards the operator. Environmental protection is provided through the HEPA filters, which are installed in such a way that pathogens are filtered before being exhausted in the workplace.

Moreover, class I safety cabinets are only used for low to moderate risk agents in which the product protection is not required. Due to the new and revised standards of NSF together with the introduction of more modern and effective biosafety cabinets has made a class I type obsolete.

Class II Clean air Cabinet

This is a laminar flow safety cabinet, which has a front opening that provides not only product or personal protection, but also environmental protection. The inward flow helps protect the operator from hazardous agents from within the cabinet, and environmental protection provided through HEPA filters through which pure air is exhausted in the workplace. Product protection is provided through downward, inward flow of class II type whereby the impurities from the air are filtered before entering the cabinet thus making sure that it is free from contamination.

This is the most common type of safety cabinet used in almost all the industries. NSF International reorganized the types of  class II safety cabinets  by changing their names. Class II type A was altered to A1, Class II type A/B3 was restructured to A2, Class II type B3 was changed to A3, Class 11 type B1 was given the name of B1, and lastly, Class II type B2 was changed to B2. All these types were classified for the customers to be familiar with the specificities of each one of them.

Class III Biosafety Cabinet

These cabinets are the only ones, which are completely enclosed and are more likely to work with high-risk agents due to a complete bio containment capacity and higher biosafety levels. These cabinets are also called glove cabinets because of the presence of gloves at the front that helps prevent the impure air to be exhausted directly towards the face. These cabinets provide the maximum level of product, personnel, and environmental protection and are mainly used for deadly bacteria and viruses that release the highest amount of aerosol levels. Hence, Class III BSCs are the most effective and modern cabinets and are in high demand.

Recommendations for usage 

Being a supplier, it is our responsibility to guide you through the methods of operating our cabinets:

  • Safety cabinets must be operated in an environment with less traffic and without any draughts to avoid the spread of infections and diseases.
  • UV lights must be turned off while fluorescent lights must be turned on.
  • Turn on the air blower at the beginning
  • Turn the cabinet on at least 5 minutes before starting work so that the contaminated air is removed from the cabinet
  • Before using a cabinet for the first time, qualify its protection efficiency. Remember, cabinet qualification is required each time after its relocation
  • The operator must be extremely cautious while carrying out all the processes.
  • The operator should wear a lab coat and long gloves.
  • All contaminated things must be separated from clean materials in the lab so that they are not mixed up.
  • Locate all the tools and materials as far from the work opening as possible but make sure the rear air grille is not closed
  • Procedures that disrupt the operation of safety cabinets such as constant movement of operator's hands and excessive moving of material shall be avoided entirely.