What Is A Biological Safety Cabinet

What is a biological safety cabinet and what is it used for?

Update 6/27/2022: TSS has an updated email address : [email protected], The old address (@eocone.com) is no longer actively monitored. Please be sure to use the NEW email address to tech safety. Update 10/28/2021: EOC1 has been acquired by Technical Safety Services (TSS).

  1. Biosafety cabinet service quotes will be generated from the TSS system and will use TSS letterhead and signatures.
  2. Personal email addresses have been updated.
  3. The phone number will remain (404) 806-0927.
  4. Updated personal contact information for Tia and Gregg Froebe are [email protected] and [email protected],

We will continue to update you through SAFETYmatters and our Biosafety Cabinet Use page on our website as information changes. – Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are among the most common and effective primary containment devices used in laboratories to protect individuals from splashes and aerosols when working with biological agents.

Properly maintained BSCs, when used in conjunction with good microbiological technique, provide an effective containment system for the safe manipulation of low, moderate, and high-risk microorganisms (Risk Groups 1-3). BSCs require regular maintenance by professional technicians to ensure they function properly and provide the necessary protection to personnel, product and the environment.

All BSC service appointments should be scheduled with the UI contracted vendor, TSS (contact info listed below). For general questions related to your biosafety cabinet, you may contact EHS by emailing bio­[email protected] Contact information and areas of expertise can be found on the Contact Us page.

What are biological safety cabinets?

Chapter 11 – Biological Safety Cabinets – Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) provide effective primary containment for work with infectious material or toxins when they are properly maintained and used in conjunction with good microbiological laboratory practices,

The various classes and types of BSCs operate under the same basic principles. Personnel protection is provided through a continuous stream of inward air, known as inflow, which helps prevent aerosols from escaping through the front opening. The air that is exhausted into the surrounding containment zone or directly to the outside atmosphere is passed through high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to protect the environment.

Some classes of BSCs also offer product protection by using HEPA-filtered downflow to flush the cabinet interior of airborne contaminants and to prevent unfiltered inflow air from entering the work area. This chapter provides general descriptions of the different types and classes of BSCs.

Different manufacturers may have unique design features and new technology in their BSCs. The physical containment requirements, operational practice requirements, and performance and verification testing requirements relating to BSCs in containment zones regulated by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are described in Matrices 3.7, 4.6, and 5.1 of the Canadian Biosafety Standard (CBS), 2 nd Edition.

Footnote 1

Is a biological safety cabinet the same as a Bunsen burner?

Although the use of Bunsen burners has long been an accepted practice in microbiological laboratories to ensure sterility, this should not be carried over into biological safety cabinets (BSCs). BSCs provide a near microbe-free environment and burners are not necessary.

What is the most important part of a biological safety cabinet?

IV. Factors to Consider When Selecting a Biosafety Cabinet – Selection Based on Biosafety Level Biosafety levels are measures to contain or isolate harmful infectious agents in a laboratory. For risk assessment of harmful agents, a Biological Safety Officer (BSO) and Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC) may be of help.

  1. There are four biosafety levels: Biosafety Level 1 is for undergraduate and secondary educational training, teaching laboratories, and for other laboratories that use microorganisms that are not pathogenic.
  2. Examples are Bacillus subtilis, Naegleria gruberi, and infectious canine hepatitis virus.
  3. Thus, BSL-1 containment only requires a sink for handwashing.

Biosafety Level 2 is appropriate for clinical, diagnostic, teaching, and other laboratories which deal with indigenous moderate-risk agents linked with human disease and is present in a community. Examples are the Hepatitis B virus, HIV, Salmonella, and Toxoplasma,

These microorganisms may be used on the open bench as long as there is low production of aerosols. Hazards may be acquired through ingestion of or exposure of the mucous membrane from the microorganisms. Certain precautions should be taken in handling contaminated materials (i.e. sharp objects). Similarly, procedures involving aerosol should be undertaken in BSC or safety centrifuge cups.

Personal protective equipment is also effective together with handwashing sinks and waste decontamination facilities. Biosafety Level 3 applies to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities handling indigenous or exotic agents with a potential for respiratory transmission that may be a cause for lethal infection.

  1. Examples are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, St.
  2. Louis Encephalitis virus, and Coxiella burnetii,
  3. Hazards may be acquired through autoinoculation, ingestion, and exposure to infectious aerosols.
  4. For containment, procedures should be done in BSC or a gas-tight aerosol generation chamber.
  5. Ventilation systems should also be appropriate to reduce the release of hazardous aerosols.

Biosafety Level 4 is appropriate for life-threatening hazardous agents or pathogens which may be spread through the aerosol route and has no available vaccine or therapy. Examples are Marburg or Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever. Hazards may be acquired through infectious aerosols, skin membrane exposure to hazardous droplets, and autoinoculation.

  1. To isolate the infectious agents completely, procedures should be done in Class III BSC or while in a full-body air-supplied positive-pressure personnel suit.
  2. The BSL-4 laboratory is located in an isolated complex with specialized ventilation and waste management systems.
  3. The entire operation of the laboratory should be handled by a laboratory director.

A supplement to this will be the presence of trained laboratory personnel, safety measures/manuals, safety equipment, appropriate design of facilities, personal protective equipment, and biosafety level practices.

Lethality Medium Cure Ex
1 Safe Liquid Yes Bacillus subtilis
2 Some Liquid Some HIV
3 Serious Airborne Some TBC
4 Extreme Airborne None Ebola

Selection Based on the Filtration system One of the most important components of a BSC is the filter. Currently, there are two kinds of filters that a biological safety cabinet utilizes:

  • High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that is 99.99% efficient at MPPS (typically at 0.30 micron).
  • Ultra-Low Particulate Air (ULPA) filter that is 99.999% efficient at MPPS (typically at 0.12 micron).

ULPA filter is 10 times more efficient than the HEPA filter, thus a biosafety cabinet with an ULPA filter can provide better operator, product, and environmental protection. Selection Based on Possibility to Block Inflow Grille The operator and product protection are achieved through the air curtain created by both the inflow and downflow that goes into the front air grille.

  1. Use a raised armrest.
  2. Put armrest above inflow grille
  3. Curve the inflow grille up (like an A-shape)
  4. Curve the inflow grille down (like a V-shape)
  5. Put the inflow grille lower than the front nosing of the cabinet and the work tray

Figure 1. Combination of raised armrest and curved inflow grille to prevent accidental blocking. Selection Based on Airflow Alarm There are different possibilities for alarms and control systems used by biosafety cabinets:

  1. Simple switches – the simplest control system with buttons to turn blower and lights on and off. Has audio and visual alarms to indicate airflow failure.
  2. Analog display – shows the airflow velocity and provides an overview on how far the current velocity is from the fail point.
  3. Digital microprocessor – displays the cabinet’s basic parameters such as airflow values to sash status and alarms. It has easy-to-use buttons for the cabinet’s operation and an LCD screen that enables the user to diagnose the status of the cabinet and program different features such as setting the experiment timer.

Selection Based on Front Window Mechanism, Material, and Angle A biosafety cabinet has different window mechanisms wherein the user must select the most convenient type without compromising containment.

  • Hinged window, The advantage is the ease to get the nominal aperture opening height because it is fixed. However, the operator must attach an optional front cover to cover the aperture when the UV light is on.
  • Manual sash window, The operator must observe the correct nominal window opening height, as indicated by the guide mark and supported by the sash alarm. The sash window must be fully closed before the UV light is activated.
  • Motorized sash window, This is similar to the manual sash window version, but the user just needs to press one or two buttons to move the window. Typically, two buttons are used for safety to ensure that both of the operator’s hands are outside the path of the traversing window.

Figure 2: Sample photo of a smashed tempered glass sash. Tempered glass or laminated safety glass are ideal materials for the sash of biosafety cabinets. Most tempered glasses are UV absorbing, clear, and will retain their shape when shattered to avoid any containment failure or accidents.

  1. The sash can either be a vertical window or a sloped one.
  2. Vertical windows are easier to design but will provide eye strain to the operators.
  3. Modern biosafety cabinets have an angled front or sloping to provide better visibility while minimizing glares and reflections.
  4. Selection Based on Work Trays For safety, the BSC’s surface needs to be decontaminated before and after use, or after a large spillage occurs.

Therefore, the cleanability factor plays an important role in selecting a Biosafety Cabinet:

  • Single-piece work tray A single-piece work tray has a recessed area that can help contain spillage. Due to its seamless design, spills will not drip down. However, it is more challenging to clean since it’s heavier than the multi-piece trays. Figure 3. Single-piece work tray of a biosafety cabinet.
  • Multi-piece work tray A divided work tray is lighter and easier to lift making cleaning more convenient. However, due to the segments, it cannot contain spills efficiently. Figure 4. Divisions of a multi-piece work tray of a biosafety cabinet.

Selection Based on Ergonomics Biosafety cabinets should be equipped with ergonomic features as this will provide comfort and increase productivity. Here are several features to consider when selecting a biosafety cabinet:

  • Position and angle of the control panel – A control panel must be located in the middle of the cabinet where it is easier to see and reach. It is also important that the operator can access the control system whether they are standing up or sitting down.
  • Lighting system – The light intensity of the cabinet shall exceed 1000 lux to provide a sufficient brightness in the work zone but with minimal glares for the user’s comfort.
  • Low noise operation – It is ideal that the biosafety cabinet shall not exceed 67 dBA. This will prevent any distractions during operation.
  • Position of the UV light – The UV lamp should not be placed directly on the operator’s line of sight to avoid eye irritation.

What is the advantage of biosafety cabinet?

The cabinets provide both personal and product protection from biological hazards and contamination while affording users with a comfortable and ergonomic workspace. Cabinets are certified to EN 12469 safety standard.

What is the difference between a Class 1 & A Class 2 biological safety cabinet?

Class I provides protection for the user and surrounding environment, but no protection for the sample being manipulated. Class II provides protection for the user, environment and sample, and is divided into four types: A1, A2, B1 and B2. The main differences are their minimum inflow velocities and exhaust systems.

What is the risk of biosafety cabinet?

Biosafety cabinets Working in a biosafety cabinet can result in an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury risk due increased reaching over the air vent. Take care to ensure you’ve set-up your workstation optimally to reduce injury risk.

Who uses biosafety cabinets?

Biosafety Cabinets – ​​ Biosafety cabinets (BSCs) are one type of biocontainment equipment used in biological laboratories to provide personnel, environmental, and product protection. Most BSCs (e.g., Class II and Class III) use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in both the exhaust and supply system to prevent exposure to biohazards.

There are several designs of biosafety cabinets which provide different levels of protection to the worker and to the research material. There are three classes of biosafety cabinets designated in the United States: Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I biosafety cabinets are infrequently used and provide personnel and environmental protection but no product protection.

Class II and Class III cabinets provide personnel, environmental, and product protection. Class II biosafety cabinets are widely used in biological research laboratories and are differentiated into types such as A1, A2, B1, or B2.The classification for the majority of biosafety cabinets used in the United States is Class II Type A2.

The naming system given here is the one used in the United States and in CDC/NIH guidance Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories Appendix A, Other naming conventions have been used in the past or in other countries. Laminar flow hoods (e.g., “clean benches”) are not biosafety cabinets.

Laminar flow hoods provide a clean or sterile area to protect the work product, but discharge air towards the worker. In work with infectious agents, toxins, or cultures, use of laminar flow hoods may expose the worker to the biological material. Likewise, chemical fume hoods cannot be used in place of biosafety cabinets​,

What is the difference between biosafety cabinet and laminar air flow?

Protection – The first questions to ask when selecting between the different enclosures is who/what are you trying to protect and what are you needing protection from (fume vs particulate). Fume hoods provide personnel protection from chemical fumes and vapors.

What are the best practices for biosafety cabinets?

All operations should be performed towards the back of the cabinet away from the user and at least four inches from the front grille. All materials and equipment should be placed inside the cabinet with care to avoid disrupting airflow that can cause turbulence, cross-contamination and/ or breach of containment.

Is a biosafety cabinet a laminar flow?

When to choose a biological safety cabinet: – Biological safety cabinets must be used when protection of the user and the environment is required. There are several options of class and varying levels of protection available in BSC’s.

Class I Biological safety cabinets are designed solely for operator protection. Class II and Class III protect the product or specimen, the user, and the environment from contamination. Class II cabinets have open access to the work zone while Class III BSC’s, often referred to as glove boxes, provides a barrier between the user and the work area. A class III biosafety cabinet is crucial for working with any biosafety level 4 agents, or other dangerous materials, such as aerosols of pathogens or toxins.

Biological safety cabinet create a unidirectional laminar flow across the work surface following parallel patterns. But, laminar flow cabinets are not biological safety cabinets. Laminar flow cabinets are configured to protect the work on the work surface.

They do not protect the operator as the airflow pushes aerosols or particulates from the work surface toward the operator. Where biological safety is required, the Purair BIO offers a Class II, Type A2 NSF certification for personnel, work surface and environmental protection from airborne particulates and biologicals.

This cabinet maintains a negative pressure inside the cabinet during operation to prevent contaminants from escaping the work area. The Purair BIO is ideal for life science researchers, various biological protocols, and for sterile product preparation in a number of industries.

How many types of biosafety cabinets are there?

A biological safety cabinet (BSC) is an engineering control intended to protect laboratory workers, the laboratory environment, and work materials from exposure to infectious or biohazardous aerosols and splashes. Such aerosols and splashes may be generated while manipulating materials containing infectious agents, such as primary cultures, stocks, and diagnostic specimens. Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) There are three kinds of safety cabinets, Classes I, II, and III, Class II and Class III biological safety cabinets provide personnel, environmental as well as product protection. Whereas the class I safety cabinet, which is the most basic one, provides personnel and environmental protection only.

Is laminar air flow a biosafety cabinet?

A Laminar Flow Hood (LFH), is not a biological safety cabinet. These devices do not provide any protection to the worker. They are designed to provide a sterile environment to protect the product. Air potentially contaminated with infectious agents may be blown towards the worker.

What is another name for a biosafety cabinet?

Biosafety Cabinets & Clean Benches When you walk into a research laboratory, there is a piece of equipment that is often referred to by many different names: cell culture hood, tissue culture hood, laminar flow hood, PCR hood, clean bench, or biosafety cabinet.

An important thing to note, however, is that not all of these “hoods” are created equally; in fact, they have very different protective capabilities. The common thread is that the equipment provides laminar air flow for a “clean” work area, but it is important to know that not all equipment provides additional personnel or environmental protection.

Below is a general guidance on the differences between two common pieces of lab equipment at UNH that both provide laminar flow of air; biological safety cabinets (BSC) and the laminar flow “clean bench”. Both of these pieces have high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which control airborne particulate materials by removing the most penetrating particle size of 0.3 μm with an efficiency of at least 99.97%.

How does air flow in a biosafety cabinet?

To protect the work product, the cabinet’s downward air is cleaned by a high efficiency filter within the cabinet. Upon reaching the work surface, roughly half of the downflow air moves toward the front grille and the other half moves towards the back grille.

What is the difference between biosafety cabinet A and B?

A Note on BSC Safety All Class II Biological Safety Cabinets provide the same level of protection against hazardous aerosols and particulates. The following analysis examines how the different Types of Class II BSCs protect users from nuisance odors and vapors, hazardous vapors and hazardous radionuclides.

  1. Eep in mind, the safest BSC in the world cannot offer protection if used in an unsafe manner.
  2. Safety Gap Analysis If chemical safety is not a concern for your microbiological processes, then a recirculating Class II, Type A2 Biosafety Cabinet is perfectly suitable; however, if chemical safety is a concern, then you should use a vented Class II BSC.

The Class II, Type C1 Biosafety Cabinet offers the greatest combination of safety and flexibility, and is therefore the “no-brainer” choice in most circumstances. Know your needs

Chemical Safety Features Type A2 Type B1 Type B2 Type C1
Single Pass Airflow x
Intuitive use of work space x
Easy installation and building demands x
Confident chemical safety x x
Active Protection x x x

Type A Cabinets The two major differences between Type A1 and Type A2 cabinets:

  1. Inflow velocity: Type A1 BSCs are required to have a minimum of 75 lfpm (0.38 m/s) inflow, while Type A2 BSCs must have a minimum 100 lfpm (0.51 m/s) inflow.
  2. Canopy (or Thimble) installation : Canopies can be used on A2 BSCs to control odors as well as safe concentrations of chemicals; however, a canopy can be used on an A1 only to control nuisance odors.

Type A2 Chemical Safety

Type A cabinet with room exhaust Type A cabinet with canopy/thimble connection
Since Type A cabinets have a shared plenum (meaning all of the air moved by the cabinet is allowed to mix before being redistributed through the cabinet), chemically contaminated air will be returned over the work zone. Class II A1 & A2 BSCs have the same cross section and can both be outfitted with a canopy (or thimble) in order to remove the exhaust from these cabinets much like a fume hood would.

The shared plenum acts as a “mixing bowl” for the BSC’s air prior to being resupplied over the work surface or exhausted from the cabinet, and HEPA filters do not trap chemical vapors; therefore, the column of air supplied over the work zone should be considered chemically contaminated. From the view of an operator, this means that the entire work surface of a Type A BSC is susceptible to chemical contamination if vapors are being emitted in the cabinet’s work zone. Again, the blue shading indicates the area of the work zone where air can recirculate. Whereas Type A Biosafety Cabinets always pass HEPA filtered air recycled from the cabinet’s interior over the work surface, Type B2 Cabinets always pass only HEPA filtered room air over the work surface. Type B2 BSCs incorporate a single pass airflow system throughout the cabinet.

No air is recycled. Also known as Total Exhaust BSCs, the sole purpose of the Type B2 is to handle situations where biological and chemical hazards are used together. Handling Hazardous Chemicals & their Vapors If you follow the arrows in the cross sectional diagram for the B2, you can see that all of the air that is brought into the cabinet finds its way through the exhaust HEPA filter.

This allows work with chemical hazards to be performed inside this BSC design without risk to the operator or the samples. None of the air is resupplied back over the work zone. The red shading indicates the area of the cabinet that is safe to work with chemicals. Type B1 Cabinets A less commonly seen type of Class II BSC is the B1 Type. This type of cabinet brings some interesting solutions to BSC design problems, but in doing so, brings about its own safety concerns. The B1 cabinet functions by directing various columns of air to different channels, thereby increasing chemical safety in specific parts of the cabinet’s work zone. Understanding the B1’s upside

  • The B1 uses far less exhaust air than a B2, more similar to an A2 with a canopy.
  • The B1’s single pass airflow in the back provides superior chemical safety over an A2 with a canopy.

The B1 quite literally splits the work zone’s column of supply air from the face of the cabinet to the back. Air behind this split (commonly referred to as the “smoke split”) is pulled into the direct exhaust of the B1 cabinet by the roof-mounted exhaust blower.

  • The B1 uses far less exhaust air than a B2, more similar to an A2 with a canopy.
  • The B1’s single pass airflow in the back provides superior chemical safety over an A2 with a canopy.

Where the B1 falls short While it certainly is a valiant attempt to merge the efficiency of Type A’s with the chemical safety of Type B BSCs, the B1’s design creates its own host of issues. Unfortunately, these shortcomings result in serious safety concerns:

  1. A user must work behind the smoke split when handling hazardous chemicals and therefore must be trained to work very conscientiously.
  2. The smoke split is an invisible line that can only be identified by using smoke or another visual aid.
  3. The invisible line of the smoke split will move toward or away from the user any time air pressure in the room or workspace changes and as the BSC’s filters load.

In order to use a B1 properly and safely, the operator must be trained to handle hazardous chemicals behind an invisible line that shifts and moves. The red zone in this image indicates where hazardous chemicals can be used safely, and the blue zone shows where in the work area the air will be recirculated. Type C1 Cabinets The most recent addition to the world of Class II biosafety cabinets is the Type C. This cabinet directly addresses the gaps in safety that exist in Type A and Type B BSCs. The Type C is flexible enough to take on the jobs of both Type A and Type B cabinets.

Innovations in directional airflow have allowed the Type C to be safer than Type A and Type B BSCs, while maintaining low energy costs. Active Protection Protocol In Type B cabinets, the CDC writes, “Should the building exhaust system fail, the cabinet will be pressurized, resulting in a flow of air from the work area back into the laboratory.” Type C cabinets maintain negative pressure in the event of an exhaust failure for up to five minutes (programmable), preventing the flow of air into the laboratory,

Chemical Zone

  • Safer than Type A: The Type C is also safer than a Type A2 cabinet because all of the air that passes through the chemical zone is expelled from the cabinet in a single pass.
  • Safer than Type B: Working with chemicals in the Type C is safer and more intuitive than in Type B1 BSCs because of its chemical zone, a clearly defined area for chemical handling. Air in this heavily perforated area of the work surface is exhausted in a single pass. Furthermore, safety is also improved because the size and shape of the chemical zone does not change while in use as it can within a Type B1 cabinet. The Type C is also safer than the Type B2 due to its programmable Active Protection Protocol.

*republished with permission from Labconco Corporation For more information on Labconco or other brands of biosafety cabinets, contact our Technical Services Manager, Rand Weyler – http://web.newenglandlab.com/contact-our-technical-services-manager, Topics: biosafety cabinets

Who invented biosafety cabinet?

Evolution of Biological Safety Cabinets Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are one of the few pieces of laboratory equipment designed specifically to provide protection for personnel, the product, and the environment. They were born from a need to protect researchers from laboratory-acquired infections, from early studies of tuberculosis to more recent studies into hepatitis B and AIDS.

  1. Biological safety cabinets work by capturing and retaining infected airborne particles that are released during certain procedures in the laboratory, thus preventing their inhalation by laboratory workers.
  2. Subscribe to our free Lab Manager Monitor newsletter.1900–1940 – Early biological safety cabinets At the beginning of the 20th century, the German scientist constructed the first ‘bio-containment’ cabinet after discovering that germs could float in air.

Despite various leaks and design flaws, this system allowed Koch to work safely with anthrax, tuberculosis and cholera. In 1909, the W.K. Mulford Pharmaceutical Company in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, designed a ventilated hood to prevent infection from mycobacterium tuberculosis during the preparation of tuberculin.

  1. Similar cabinets were subsequently developed over the years by other researchers to improve protection for the user, but use of these devices was always at the discretion of the individual who was often also the designer of the unit.
  2. Despite these early rudimentary biological safety cabinets, scientists continued to die of infections acquired in the laboratory.

The incidence of laboratory-acquired infections grew at an alarming rate, with as many as 2,456 infections and 164 deaths by 1940. Particularly common lab-acquired diseases included tuberculosis, Q-fever and the bubonic plague.1940s In 1943, Van den Ende published the first formal description of a dedicated biological safety cabinet.

  1. This system created an inward airflow through the use of a furnace, which was also used to incinerate the exhaust air.
  2. During the same year, the first prototype Class III biological safety cabinet was created by Hubert Kaempf Jr., then a U.S.
  3. Army soldier at the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Also during the war years, the highefficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter was developed by the body which later became the Atomic Energy Commission. The development of the HEPA filter had a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of biological safety cabinets, providing substantial increased protection for users.

  1. In 1948, the design of biological safety cabinets took a further leap forward when the first biological safety cabinet incorporating many of the design features of the modern cabinet was made available.
  2. These features included stainless steel casing, glass viewing panels, interior rear baffle, service piping, exhaust blower, and spun-glass fiber filters, which offered both improved user safety and greater ease of use.1950s In 1951, the developed the first clean air work station, representing a significant advance in standards in biological safety cabinets.

Indeed, many of today’s industry standards for quality, performance, and construction are based on original Baker concepts and innovations.1960s 1961 : Labconco built the only one-piece molded fiberglass fume hood called the “Basic 47.” In 1964, the Baker Company once again changed the landscape for biological safety cabinets by introducing High Velocity Return Air Slots on the patented Edge- GARD clean bench. Today, the remains the most efficient horizontal flow clean bench in the industry. In 1965, seeking to offer further protection to laboratory workers, the Baker Company developed the first vertical laminar flow biological safety cabinet, BioGARD. The innovative design of the BioGARD provided even greater protection for the user compared with existing units.1970s Early in the 1970s, was awarded the first contract to design and manufacture biological safety cabinets in compliance with the new US specification (NIH-03-112C) for laminar flow biological safety cabinets.

1976 : Labconco began manufacturing of their Biosafety Cabinet product 1980s In 1983, Baker continued its commitment to user safety with the establishment of the optimum setpoint for biological safety cabinets through the concept of a performance envelope.In 1985, a biological cabinet developed by became the world’s first safety cabinet to receive TUV-certification, indicating that the unit has been independently examined and found to meet specified standards of quality and safety.1990s

In 1993, Thermo Scientific addressed two design flaws of previous units with the world’s first safety cabinet that offered a motorized front window and aerosol tight window sealing. These innovations improved both user safety and convenience. By 1996, the development of cytotoxic drugs was becoming an increasingly popular area of research. Unfortunately, many conventional biological safety cabinets were illequipped to protect users from the dangers of cytotoxic drugs. Thermo Scientific attempted to address this need in 1996 with the first DIN- 12980-certified safety cabinet designed specifically for preparing and handling cytotoxic drugs. In 2000, Thermo Scientific launched the world’s first safety cabinet to incorporate brushless DC motor technology. In 2003, Baker responded to the ever-increasing demands for improved safeguards in pharmacy compounding and cytotoxic chemical preparation by introducing new glove box cabinets with an interchange. In 2007, designed a biological safety cabinet with cell researchers specifically in mind. The Purifier® Logic™ Class II biological safety cabinet allowed a microscope to be integrated within the cabinet and incorporated a ‘stand-still’ isolation platform that reduced vibrations by up to 300 percent. In 2008, Thermo Scientific launched the advanced Thermo Scientific HERAsafe KS and KSP biological safety cabinets, which came to set the standard for efficiency and safety. By 2009, concerns were growing about the amount of energy and electricity required to operate a biological safety cabinet, many of which were in near-constant use. Also in 2009, the, low-noise biological safety cabinets were first made available by, These cabinets were developed in response to increasing demands in cell culture, life science and biological safety procedures that required laboratory users to spend longer periods of time working in biological safety cabinets. In 2009, ESCO dramatically improved the ergonomic design of biological safety cabinets with its new range of vertical laminar flow clean benches. These units featured an angled front for improved visibility, as well as a convenient sliding sash and glass sides.

These models were also designed to address concerns over energy consumption, offering a range of energy-efficient features.2010s In 2010, ESCO began selling an update to its popular biological safety cabinet product line that incorporated a number of new features including a micro-controller, communication port, and easier-to-use software.

Also in 2010, Lishen released its (Class II, Type A2). This was built to improve comfort and safety for operators who were still using safety cabinets for ever-increasing lengths of time. Features included a 10°-bevel front window design to make the operable area larger, and a motorized frameless tempered glass front window to widen the field of vision. Finally in 2010, Telstar, recognizing the growing competition for ever more limited laboratory space, developed a new generation of compact biological safety cabinets. The Bio II Advance biological safety cabinets were able to maintain work space while making the chassis up to 20 percent smaller than the market average.

Future of biological safety cabinets Advances in biological safety cabinet technology have been driven over the years by advances in laboratory procedures. As research has involved increasingly hazardous and intricate work, so the biological safety cabinet has evolved to meet these needs. The design of these units has also become more ergonomic over time, as scientists spend more and more time working within a biological safety cabinet.

Recent innovations have included energy-efficient models that address concerns over greenhouse gas emissions and dwindling fuel resources, as well as compact models that optimize increasingly precious laboratory space. : Evolution of Biological Safety Cabinets

What is biocontainment and why it is important?

Biocontainment is a component of biorisk management. The overall objective of biocontainment is to confine an infectious organism or toxin, thereby reducing the potential for exposure to laboratory workers or persons outside the laboratory, and the likelihood of accidental release to the environment.

  • Physical containment is achieved through the use of laboratory practices, containment equipment, personal protective equipment, and laboratory and facility design.
  • The Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel has developed a Best Practices Checklist​ to guide Federal departments and agencies through a comprehensive set of questions that should be considered while planning and building a high-containment laboratory.

Other institutions may also use this checklist as a way to ensure that they are aware of all possible elements of biocontainment.

When should a BSC be used?

The Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) protects the researcher, the research materials, and other lab members through a simple system of airflow and filters. A BSC must be used whenever activities are anticipated to generate droplets, splashes, and aerosols with potentially infectious biological materials.

  1. Engineering controls are an effective tool for reducing exposure to biological materials.
  2. Examples of engineering controls used in laboratories at Cornell may include dilution ventilation, local exhaust ventilation, biological safety cabinets, glove boxes, safety shields, and proper storage facilities.

The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires that “fume hoods and other protective equipment function properly and that specific measures are taken to ensure the proper and adequate performance of such equipment.” The OSSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires all labs working human derived materials have certified biosafety cabinets.

Where do you put biological safety cabinets?

BSCs should not be placed near an entryway. If this cannot be avoided they should be placed at least 60′ from behind the doorway or 40′ from an adjacent door.