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The 411 on Biological Safety Cabinets

The 411 on Biological Safety Cabinets

A laboratory is not complete, or safe, without a biological safety cabinet. A biological safety cabinet is an enclosed, ventilated workspace that allows personnel to safely work with hazardous or infectious agents. The air in the workspace is safely recirculated back into the laboratory through a HEPA filter, creating a clean work environment for all lab personnel. 


The Different Types of Biological Safety Cabinets 

Biological safety cabinets are classified based on their containment capabilities and the protection they offer. Class I cabinets protect the operator and the environment, but not to the product/agent; making them unsuitable for research materials that are vulnerable to contamination. Class II cabinets protect the operator, the environment, and the product. From there, class II cabinets can be broken down into A1, A2, B1, and B2 types. Most biological safety cabinets in the United States are Class II A2. 


The Difference Between Biological Safety Cabinets and Fume Hoods 

Biological safety cabinets and fume hoods look very similar but serve different purposes in your laboratory. A fume hood is also an enclosed workspace used when working with dangerous chemicals or acids/solvents that can emit toxic fumes. It works by pulling airflow away from the user and dispersing it outside of the laboratory. 


Biological Safety Cabinet Certification Process 

According to OSHA, your biological safety cabinet needs to be certified when installed, when moved, and on an annual basis. During the certification process, the BSC is calibrated to the manufacturer’s inflow and downflow air velocity specifications and checked for proper HEPA filter operation with calibrated aerosol and analytical instruments.

In addition to the annual certification, biological safety cabinets should have regular preventative maintenance services done to extend the life of your equipment. Our qualified service technicians offer biological safety cabinet services, preventative maintenance, and certifications. 


Where Can I Buy a Biological Safety Cabinet? 

Scientific Calibration currently has Biobase NSF Certified Class II A2 Biological Safety Cabinets in stock and ready to ship! The cabinets feature an LCD display, heavy-duty castors with brakes and leveling feet, and a hands-free remote motorized front sash. For more information and to learn the technical parameters, read our Biobase brochure.