Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are enclosures that protect users and the environment from biohazards by removing particulates and aerosolized pathogens from the work area through HEPA filtration, then recirculate or exhaust the purified air, hence, cleansing the workspace air.

BSCs provide protection to users/operators and/or samples. Whether performing research or production activities, the proper degree of protection should be maintained. The protection required by these types of activities is defined as biosafety levels.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC or MSC)


1. Do the samples/specimens/cultures need to be protected from environmental particulates? Answering this question determines what type of BSC you require.

2. Are chemicals involved in your application? Hazardous (toxic or volatile) Vapors are not filtered by the HEPA/ ULPA filters found in BSCs. Different BSCs designs are available.

3. What are your size limits? Know what the maximum space allotment is so that you don’t end up with equipment that is too big for your lab, or so small that you can’t work.

4. Does your procedure require modifications to the equipment that are uncommon? BSCs should be built to an appropriate standard and listed by a testing agency. Some modifications can lead to the equipment being unsafe; reputable manufacturers will not provide such alterations.

5. Cost is always a concern. Avoid looking at the sticker price of a BSC; inquire instead about the lifetime cost of each BSC. This includes energy savings, service life, and a proven product track record.

The levels of containment within respondents’ labs based on our latest survey data:

Containment level 1 41%
Containment level 2 49%
Containment level 3 8%
Containment level 4 2%

Types of Biological Safety Cabinet respondents are using:

Class I 29%
Class II 60%
Class III 10%
Other 1%

Respondents’ thoughts on the following safety statements regarding BSCs:

  Agree & Strongly Agree Disagree & Strongly Disagree
All biological safety cabinets have been tested within the past year 79% 21%
Test labels are properly affixed
to the biological safety cabinets tested
79% 21%
Storage in biological safety cabinets
is kept to a minimum and is placed so
as not to impede proper airflow
85% 15%
Workers using biohazards, toxins
and regulated carcinogens have
received special training
74% 26%
Rooms and cabinets containing
regulated carcinogens, biohazards
and radioactive materials are
properly labeled
87% 13%

Top ten factors/features that influence the decision-making process when buying a biological safety cabinet:

Ease of Use 93%
Safety 93%
Low maintenance/operating costs 89%
Controlled airflow 86%
Price 84%
Service and support 79%
Warranty 77%
Ergonomic design 74%
Energy efficiency 73
Ease of installation 69%


Recently Released Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC or MSC)

Purifier® CellLogic®
• Fits the specific needs of delicate cell research while also providing protection from hazardous particulates such as agents that require Biosafety Level 1, 2 or 3
• Accommodates a user’s microscope while still conforming to strict NSF® specifications through Scope-Ready™ option
• Temp-Zone™ option also available, allowing heated or chilled samples to remain at optimum temperature


BioChemGARD e3
• Operates at only 664 CFM, minimizing noise and cutting power requirements
• Reduces the overall annual cost of operation by 49%
• Motor blower reserve is at least 420%, extending the filter life for less downtime
• Allows for faster, simpler maintenance
• Engineered specifically for laboratories that need containment and removal of vapors, mists and particulates

The Baker Company

CellGard HD ES NU-481
• Incorporates NuAire’s existing technology and new DC ECM technology to give users the best value
• Requires less energy to operate, has a longer filter life and the lowest possible noise and vibration
• TouchLink™ Electronic Control System monitors and controls all cabinet functions
• Supplies an ergonomically correct environment and safety effective work zone


1300 Series
• Available with choices of stainless steel or SmartCoat interiors
• Supply and exhaust blowers adapt in real time to provide the correct airflow parameters and maintain a safe working environment
• Digital Airflow Verification (DAVe) system also increases safety
• Brushless DC motors reduce energy consumption, heat output, and noise

Thermo Fisher Scientific


Biological Safety Cabinet Manufacturers

Air Science USA
AirClean Systems
Flow Sciences
Kewaunee Scientific
Mystaire Misonix
Sentry Air Systems
Terra Universal
The Baker Company
Thermo Fisher Scientific