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.
Types of biological safety cabinets used by survey respondents:
|Class I Biological Safety Cabinet||18%|
|Class II Biological Safety Cabinet||77%|
|Class III Biological Safety Cabinet||4%|
Applications performed by respondents within their BSCs:
|Cell / Tissue Culture||30%|
|Microbiology plating / specimens||21%|
|Sample and reagent storage||7%|
|Laboratory animal handling||5%|
Nearly 17% of respondents plan on purchasing a biological safety cabinet in the next year. The primary reasons for these purchases are:
|Replacement of aging biological safety cabinet|
|Addition to existing systems, increase capacity|
|Setting up a new lab|
|First time purchase of a biological safety cabinet|
5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Biological Safety Cabinet
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 BSC 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.
Top 10 features /factors respondents look for when purchasing a biological safety cabinet
Completed Surveys: 246
For more information on biological safety cabinets, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/biosafety-cabinets