Performance Test of Class II Biosafety Cabinets and Animal Transfer Stations Used for the Safe Handling of Animals in the Animal Laboratory

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Testing of Airflow Products in the Animal Laboratory Presentation

The TurnKey Conference took place May 7-8, 2015 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. The TurnKey Conference brings together the industry’s brightest and smartest in Animal Laboratory Facility Design. The conference offers useful information and ideas on how to update or design animal laboratories to be more efficient and economical, and how to avoid the common pitfalls and costly mistakes.

The need for the safe handling of animals and protection in the animal laboratory for end users is ever increasing. With this increase comes an influx of new airflow products stating an offering of product and personnel protection.

“Each manufacturer has taken their own approach to the [Animal Transfer Station] market. No common sizes or configuration… no common performance or testing requirements…”

NuAire’s Vice President of North American Sales Scott Christensen recently brought this issue to light during the TurnKey Conference presenting Performance Test of Class II Biosafety Cabinets and Animal Transfer Stations Used for the Safe Handling of Animals. In this presentation Mr. Christensen discusses the various types of airflow products, safety standards, and what to be aware of when purchasing or using airflow products in the animal laboratory.

If you were unable to attend the animal laboratory conference or presentation please download the presentation slides to learn the following:

  • Understanding how Class II Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) and Animal Transfer Stations (ATS) are used in animal the laboratory.
  • Knowledge and principles behind airflows to understand product and personnel protection.
  • Certification and Performance Testing of Class II Biological Safety Cabinets and Animal Transfer Stations.
  • Placement of materials in the Biological Safety Cabinet and Animal Transfer Station – Impacts of movement on animals and researchers.
  • Pulling it all together –how design, performance and testing along with proper technique optimize the safety of researchers and animals in the animal laboratory.

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Biosafety Cabinets Assist with Outbreak of H5N2

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NuAire Biosafety Cabinets help assist with H5N2 outbreak

A new strain of the H5N2 virus has spread to poultry populations across the country, including cases in Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. The first instance of the virus appeared in poultry farms in British Columbia.

The outbreak’s reach is such that some labs are working overtime to keep up with the cases of avian flu. Before the outbreak in Minnesota, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota — the only lab in the state capable of testing for the virus — had 5 full-time technicians. The lab has increased its staff to 12, and they are all carrying a heavy workload, performing well over 100 tests a day.

If your laboratory is dealing with a similar surge, it’s crucial that you have the necessary equipment at your disposal to ensure your staff members’ safety as they work harder and longer hours.

Testing with the right tools such as Biosafety Cabinets

The lab technicians have a number of tools that aid them in performing tests in a safe environment. Chief among them is the NuAire Biosafety Cabinets, which allows laboratory workers to isolate themselves from dangerous viruses while performing tests with ease.

A biosafety safety cabinet differs from a glove box used to handle severe biohazards in that it has an open access section that protects the end user by an air barrier. The air barrier at the front of the cabinet helps prevent contamination from infectious splashes or aerosols. The air flows evenly across the work surface to help prevent cross-contamination. The exhaust air passes through a HEPA filter before recirculating into the laboratory environment or exhausted through a facility’s HVAC system.

These measures ensure the necessary safety your laboratory workers without compromising their ability to respond to ongoing threats.

Navigating the current crisis

Although there is no expected direct risk for humans, consumers are still certain to see an impact due to the impact on the poultry market — putting pressure on healthcare research labs across the country. If your lab has experience dealing with H5N2, it’s inevitable that you’ll feel the crunch as well.

In these critical times, it’s more important than ever that your staff has the right equipment to help them do their jobs efficiently and safely. As you invest in the future of your laboratory, biosafety cabinets should be at the top of your list.

Use of Pharmacy Compounding Isolator Onboard US Navy Ship

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Use of Pharmacy Compounding Isolator Onboard US Navy Ship

Compounding aseptic isolators, such as those manufactured by NuAire, are glove boxes that allow a pharmacist to mix medications in a sterile, positive air pressure environment. They are also used to prepare syringes and IV bags for the treatment of patients in hospitals. When using a compounding aseptic isolator, air flow passes through a HEPA filter that removes particulates and other contaminants. The isolator is designed to separate the environment where the pharmacist is working from the environment where the work is being done.

It’s important to keep in mind that isolators are not “magic boxes.” Specifically, they require certain conditions be met to provide proper aseptic conditions. They require stringent procedures to operate safely, including proper disinfection, safe material transfer, and safe production of medications while in use. The pharmacist must also be scrubbed, gloved, and gowned to create a sterile environment.

NuAire pharmacy compounding isolators are used on board ships of the United States Navy, particularly the hospital ships USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort. These vessels provide all the services of a modern hospital and can be deployed offshore any place in the world. The Mercy and the Comfort are not only deployed to treat casualties resulting in American military operations, but also to support the Navy’s efforts to alleviate the effects of natural disasters anywhere in the world as well as to provide medical services in remote areas where they would not ordinarily be present.

The Mercy’s first major deployment was during Operation Desert Storm. Since then she has participated in the periodic Pacific Partnership operations designed to provide humanitarian relief to countries along the Pacific Rim, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and the countries of South East Asia. The Comfort has also deployed during Operation Desert Storm, as well as the Iraq War. She supported relief operations in Haiti, off the coast of New York City in the wake of 9/11, the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and in ongoing humanitarian operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

NuAire compounding aseptic isolators have been used in many areas of the word, even under the harshest of conditions. With this adaptability they are able to support the treatment of injured and sick patients across the globe, all the while simulating the safest of conditions for physicians.

Transmission of Ebola Viruses

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ABSTRACT – Transmission of Ebola Viruses: What We Know and What We Do Not Know

Available evidence demonstrates that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, but this is based on a limited number of studies. Key areas requiring further study include (i) the role of aerosol transmission (either via large droplets or small particles in the vicinity of source patients), (ii) the role of environmental contamination and fomite transmission, (iii) the degree to which minimally or mildly ill persons transmit infection, (iv) how long clinically relevant infectiousness persists, (v) the role that “superspreading events” may play in driving transmission dynamics, (vi) whether strain differences or repeated serial passage in outbreak settings can impact virus transmission, and (vii) what role sylvatic or domestic animals could play in outbreak propagation, particularly during major epidemics such as the 2013–2015 West Africa situation. In this review, we address what we know and what we do not know about Ebola virus transmission. We also hypothesize that Ebola viruses have the potential to be respiratory pathogens with primary respiratory spread.

 

Read the full Article from ASM.org here

 

Biosafety Cabinet Tips, Cleaning Up a Spill

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Cleaning a Spill within a Biosafety Cabinet

 

The Environmental Health and Safety Department at Iowa State University shows how to properly clean a spill in your Biosafety Cabinet.

Spills within the biosafety cabinet should be handled by removing the contaminated absorbent toweling and disposing it into a biohazard bag. Splatters onto items within the biosafety cabinet, as well as the cabinet interior, should be wiped with a towel dampened with an appropriate disinfectant. Hands should be washed whenever gloves are changed or removed.

It is also smart to spray and wipe potentially contaminated walls, work surfaces, and implements with an appropriate disinfectant. For large spills one should flood the work surface with disinfectant and allow to stand 10 to 15 minutes before absorbing and wiping clean. Always check the spill pan under the work surface and disinfect as well.

 

Biosafety Cabinet Use from Lab Safety Institute

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It might be a little dated but this video is a great learning and reminder exercise when working in your Biological Safety Cabinet. You can compare to your procedures when working in your Biosafety Cabinet and even pick up on a few things or point out what you might think is incorrect. We make some great Biosafety Cabinets designed for long lastings safety but sometimes it is only as good as its end user if you’re not using the cabinet properly.

You can see one of our old “Blue” cabinets being used :)… Like I said long lasting.

 

Time for a Ultra-low Temperature Freezer?

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NuAire Ultra-low Temperature Freezers

 

Complete System Failure and New Applications Main Reasons to Purchase

While there aren’t often obvious signals that your [ultra-low temperature freezer] is about to die, the experts say there are a few things you can look for.

“As long as it’s working, you don’t really worry about it; it’s not going to tip you off to anything particular that’s about to fail,” says Buckner Richerson, vice president of international sales at NuAire (Plymouth, MN). “You unfortunately just get hit in the nose one morning when you come in and see that it’s failed during the night.”

NuAire offers a variety of ultra-low temperature freezers

However, he says that oil logging, which could be caused by a variety of problems, is one sign that a freezer may be on its way out and users will notice it when the freezer begins warming up.

“Oil logging occurs when there are restrictions within the capillary tubing and the cascade system breaks down,” Richerson says. “As the freezer warms up, that clogging melts so it starts to work again for a while and then it clogs up again. It could be because the unit has been operating out of spec.”

By

Read the full article here

ABSA Anthology of Biosafety Books Year-End Discounts!

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ABSA is offering discounts on the Anthology of Biosafety books until December 30, 2014. You will receive a 15% discount on each book ordered or a 20% discount if the entire 13 book series is purchased. Please note that the set is listed as “Full Set Anthology Series (Vol. I-XIII)”.

Read more click here

Why You Should Work at the Proper Sash Window Level

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Work at the Proper Biosafety Cabinet Window Sash Level

Class II Biological Safety Cabinets, or BSCs, provide vital personal, product, and environmental protections in the laboratory setting. BSCs go through a certification process to meet the NSF/ASNI 49 and/or EN 12469 standards. However operating errors can negate the carefully designed protections. Laboratory workers must operate at the proper window sash level to prevent potential contamination.

How a Class II Biological Safety Cabinet Works

Window Sash’s Airflow Impact

Biosafety cabinets have a movable or fixed window on the front that protects workers from the active work area. This is called the window sash. A cabinet’s certification will be based on having the window sash positioned at specific heights due to the potential impacts on downflow and inflow velocities. Current industry standards will provide a workable window sash height of 8, 10, or 12 inches (203, 254 or 305 mm).

Proper Window Height Notification

Most cabinet’s will have some type of notification of where the window should be placed during work activities. New cabinets and even some from the 1990’s will have a window sash alarm if not aligned properly.

 

Before a BSC leaves the NuAire factory it will go through testing that includes airflow balancing placing the workable sash height at the level you requested 8, 10, or 12 inches (203, 254 or 305 mm). A professional in the field will then certify your cabinet after installation at the window sash height you requested.

Window sash positioning is among the most vital information about biosafety cabinets and is as important as proper laboratory sterilization. The Biosafety Cabinet works to keep contaminated air from entering the work zone and into the laboratory as well as minimize cross-contamination within the work zone through unidirectional air.

The accuracy of this biosafety process depends on the cabinet maintaining a balance between inflow and downflow velocities. When working within the cabinet and not placing the cabinet’s window sash at the certified working level you compromise airflow balancing. If the inflow velocity is too strong, contaminated air can enter the sterile work area and contaminate the work. Excessive downflow velocity can push contaminated air from inside the cabinet out into the laboratory without filtering as well as create turbulent air at the work surface causing product contamination. The result of improper airflow balance can be seen below.

Improper Airflow Balance

Not working at the proper window sash height can throw off the airflow balance within a Biosafety Cabinet.

 

Potential Risks: Contaminated Air and Work Space

Unbalanced airflow velocities pose heightened risks when dealing with infectious materials that can pose serious safety risks to lab workers. However, the imbalance can also destroy complex, controlled experiment conditions such as those used in growing cell cultures.

Proper window sash positioning can reinforce worker diligence on properly interacting with the cabinet. The easy access allows the operating worker to use careful arm movements that help minimize the amount of room air that enters into the cabinet. A sash that’s positioned too high or low can leave the worker constantly reaching up and down, churning the interior air, and increasing the chance of laboratory equipment handling errors, and introducing risks of contamination and splattering.

 

First international parliamentarian TB summit to precede the Union World Conference on Lung Health

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26 October 2014 – Barcelona, Spain – The Global TB Summit, an inaugural meeting bringing together elected parliamentarians from across the world, will take place for the first time on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 October, a few days prior to the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in Barcelona.

Read it all here