Biological Safety Cabinets

Biosafety Cabinet image
Using a biosafety cabinet

It is the policy of Wake Forest University Health Sciences that biological safety cabinets shall be tested and recertified annually.  The interval for biological safety cabinets used for cytotoxic drugs shall be semiannual.  Biosafety cabinets will be decontamined prior to any move.  This requirement applies to both research and clinical laboratories where biological safety cabinets are used.

Features of Biological safety Cabinets

Biological Safety Cabinets have different features, which affect their use.  Table 1 is a comparison of Biosafety Cabinet characteristics.

Table 1 - Comparison of Biosafety Cabinet Characteristics  

 

Applications

BSC Class

Face Velocity

Airflow Pattern

Nonvolatile Toxic Chemicals and Radionuclides

Volatile Toxic Chemicals and Radionuclides

I

75

In at front; exhausted through HEPA to the outside or into the room through HEPA 2)

YES

YES (1)

II, A

75

70% recirculated to the cabinet work area through HEPA; 30% balance can be exhausted through HEPA back into the room or to the outside through a thimble unit

YES

NO

II, B1

100

Exhaust cabinet air must pass through a dedicated duct to the outside through a HEPA filter

YES

YES

(minute amounts (2))

II, B2

100

No recirculation; total exhaust to the outside through hard-duct and a HEPA filter

YES

YES

(small amounts)

II, B3

100

Same as II, A, but plenums are under negative pressure to room; exhaust air is thimble-ducted to the outside through a HEPA filter

YES

YES

(minute amounts (2))

III

N/A

Supply air inlets and hard-duct exhausted to outside through two HEPA filters in series

YES

YES

(small amounts)

 

  1. Installation may require a special duct to the outside, an in-line charcoal filter, and a spark proof (explosion proof) motor and other electrical components in the cabinet. Discharge of a Class I cabinet in to a room should not occur if volatile chemicals are used.
  2. In no circumstances should the chemical concentration approach the lower explosion limits of the compound.

Certification and Maintenance Frequency

The following intervals are established for certification and maintenance of Biological safety cabinets.

Cancer Drugs 

  • Every six months

Recombinant DNA, Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories

  • Annual

Certification Requirements and Maintenance Data Base

The operational integrity of a new BSC must be validated by certification before it is put into service or after a cabinet has been repaired or relocated. Relocating a BSC may break the HEPA filter seals or otherwise damage the filters or the cabinet. Each BSC shall be tested and certified at least annually to ensure continued proper operation.

Experienced, qualified personnel must perform on-site testing following the recommendations for field testing (NSF Standard 49). Required tests are listed here in Table 2.

   Table 2 - Performance Tests to be Applied to the Three Classes of Biological Safety Cabinets

Tests Performed For Biosafety Cabinet

Class I

Class II

Class III

PRIMARY CONTAINMENT

Cabinet Integrity

N/A

A

A

HEPA Filter Leak

Req.

Req.

Req.

Downflow Velocity Profile

A

Req.

Req.

Negative Pressure/Ventilation Rate

B

A

Req.

Airflow Smoke Patterns

Req.

Req.

E/F

Alarms and Interlocks

C, D

C, D

Req.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Electrical Leakage, etc.

E, D

E, D

E, D

Ground Fault Interrupter

D

D

D

OTHER

Lightning Intensity

E

E

E

UV Intensity

C, E

C, E

C, E

Noise Level

E

E

E

Vibration

E

E

E


Key for Table 2

Req.

Required during certification

A

Required for proper certification if the cabinet is new, or has been moved or if panels have been removed for maintenance

B

If used with gloves

C

If present

D

Encouraged for electrical safety

E

Optional, at the discretion of the user

F

Used to determine air distribution within cabinet for clean to dirty procedures

N/A

Not applicable

EH&S will maintain a database of certifications and notify PI’s/Users when cabinet requires certification.

Moving Biological Safety Cabinet or Laminar Flow Hoods

No Biological Safety Cabinet or laminar flow hood will be relocated unless previously decontaminated by an outside vendor.

Approved Vendors

EH&S will approve all outside vendors certifying Biological Safety Cabinets.

 

Last Updated: 10-29-2013
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.