What Do Biological Safety Cabinet Users Have to Say?

Learn readers’ most desired features and more from our latest bioloigcal safety cabinet survey results

By Erica Tennenhouse

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.

Top 5 Questions You Should 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.

Biological safety cabinet types used by survey respondents:

Class II biological safety cabinet 82%
Class I biological safety cabinet 26%
Class III biological safety cabinet 12%
Other 2%

Application conducted in biological safety cabinets as reported by survey respondents:

Cell / tissue culture 48%
Microbiology plating / specimens 44%
PCR/qPCR 30%
Sample and reagent storage 30%
Pathogen handling 29%
Mycology 17%
Gross dissection 15%
Laboratory animal handling 9%
Other 6%

Of those respondents interested in purchasing a new biological safety cabinet, the reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a biological safety cabinet:

Warranties 60%
Vendor reputation 41%
Value for price paid 72%
Total cost of ownership 64%
Service and support 74%
Safety and health features 85%
Performance of product 84%
Past experience with product 34%
Low operating costs 58%
Currently using vendor's products 23%

For more information on lab shakers, visit www.labmanager.com/BSCs

See previous survey results:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Funding Science in the Trump Era Magazine Issue Cover
Funding Science in the Trump Era

Published: October 13, 2017

Cover Story

Featured Articles