Industry Standards Your Biosafety Cabinet Should Meet
Biosafety cabinets, also known as biological safety cabinets or microbiological safety cabinets, are enclosed, ventilated workspaces used in research, hospital, and industry laboratories. They are designed to protect workers from potentially toxic or infectious materials and/or to protect samples and products from environmental contamination. There are three classes of biosafety cabinets: Class I protects workers and the environment from aerosols and biological agents but does not protect products from contamination; Class II protects workers, products, and the environment when handling biological agents or hazardous drugs; and Class III, which are total containment cabinets, protect workers, products, and the environment when handling BSL4 biological agents. Biosafety cabinets are used in various industries, including medical and biological research, drug preparation, and medical diagnostics, to create a sterile and consistent environment. The primary standards for biosafety cabinets are NSF/ANSI 49 and EN 12469, with NSF/ANSI 49 being the "gold standard" in the US, and EN 12469 being used in Europe. These standards provide cabinet construction and performance guidelines to ensure a safe working environment.