Biological Safety Cabinets
Biological safety cabinets provide effective containment for lab workers working with human pathogens. There are three separate classes of BSCs available: Class I, II and III; some with additional sub-class levels.
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Use the following decision tree to help narrow your equipment selection.
What class of BSC do you require?
Class I biological safety cabinets have an un-recirculated airflow away from the lab worker that, after going through a HEPA filter, is vented into the atmosphere. They provide the lab worker adequate protection but do not protect the samples in the cabinet from contamination.
Class II biological safety cabinets are used when working with microorganisms in containment levels 2, 3 and 4 labs. They protect the lab worker, samples and the external environment.
What type of Class II BSC do you require?
Type A1 cabinets (formerly Type A) have a minimum inflow velocity of 75 ft/min. Exhaust is drawn from the bottom of the cabinet where it rises to the top. 70% of the air recirculates through the supply HEPA filter, the other 30% is exhausted.
Type A2 cabinets, (formerly Type A/B3), have a minimum airflow velocity of 100 ft/min. A negative air pressure plenum surrounds all contaminated plenums that are under pressure. In all other respects they are identical to Type A1 cabinets.
What size of BSC do you require?
These cabinets are less than 48 inches in width and ideal for smaller needs or tight spaces.
If you have the space, consider a large bench BSC. These units are all larger than 48 inches wide.
Oversized & Walk-In
These are some of the largest units available, most over 96 inches wide.
Type B1 cabinets have a minimum inflow velocity of 100 ft/min. However, these cabinets must be hard ducted to an exhaust system rather than exhausted through a thimble connection. 60% of the air from the rear grille is exhausted and only 40% recirculated.
In Type B2 cabinets no air is recirculated within the cabinet, making them more expensive to operate. Such cabinets are appropriate for applications where the ability to safely use hazardous chemicals is important.
Class III biological safety cabinets have both HEPA-filtered supply and exhaust air and are totally enclosed and gas tight while work is performed using long sleeved gloves. The cabinet is kept under negative pressure of at least 120 Pa while an exterior exhaust system maintains airflow.