Understanding the Biosafety Cabinet
From the earliest laboratory-acquired infections to the hazards posed by today's antibiotic-resistant bacteria and rapidly mutating viruses, threats to worker safety have stimulated the development and refinement of cabinets in which infectious microorganisms and potentially harmful aerosols could be handled safely. Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs) use HEPA (or ULPA ) filters in their Supply and Exhaust systems to provide safety. An air barrier at the front of the cabinet is created by an aerodynamic airfoil and a vast access opening to create the most reliable air barrier of 105 fpm (0.50 m/s). The HEPEX Zero Leak Airflow System helps create true laminar airflow by evenly distributing air through the supply filter, creating true laminar airflow over the work surface and thereby minimizing cross-contamination. Exhaust air passes through a HEPA filter before entering the laboratory and world environment. For the BSC to do its job, laboratory personnel must be trained in the correct use and maintenance of biological safety cabinets, and follow the guidelines to ensure that personnel, product, and environmental protection are maintained. Biological Safety Cabinets were designed to remove or minimize exposures to hazardous biological materials and particulates. They are the principal device used to provide containment of infectious splashes or aerosols today.