2016 Biological Safety Cabinet Survey Results

Get the results of our 2016 BSC survey

By Ryan Ackerman

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 I biological safety cabinet 27%
Class II biological safety cabinet 79%
Class III biological safety cabinet 6%
Other 3%

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

Cell / tissue culture 54%
Microbiology plating / specimens 44%
Pathogen handling 27%
PCR/qPCR 25%
Sample and reagent storage 17%
Mycology 14%
Gross dissection 7%
Laboratory animal handling 7%
Other 9%

Over 48% of respondents are engaged 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:

Performance of product 86%
Safety and health features 81%
Controlled airflow 76%
Value for price paid 65%
Service and support 61%
Total cost of ownership 57%
Warranties 54%
Low operating costs 51%
Vendor reputation 39%
Availability of supplies and accessories 37%

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

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Categories: Surveys

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