Biological Safety Cabinets

What is it, what it does, and why do I need one?

A biological safety cabinet is a piece of equipment that is designed to provide you with protection from the inhalation of biological material. You should use your biological safety cabinet any time you work with infectious material that presents an inhalation hazard to you. Safe work practices when using a biological safety cabinet include:

  • Your biological safety cabinet is designed to protect you from infectious material. However, you still need to wear appropriate personal protective equipment This includes a laboratory coat, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Move your arms in and out slowly to reduce air flow disruption
  • Do not rest your arms on front grille
  • Do not block the front grille
  • Operations should be performed at least 4 inches from the front grille
  • Interior surfaces of the biological safety cabinet should be wiped with an appropriate disinfectant before each use
  • Plastic backed absorbent toweling can be placed on the work surface (but not on the front grille) to aid in cleanup and spill containment
  • Locate your work material as far back in your biological safety cabinet as possible
  • Your work should flow from a clean area  to a contaminated area
  • Open flames create turbulence that can disrupt the airflow in your biological safety cabinet and should not be used. If  necessary, touch plate microburners or electrical furnaces should be used
  • Biological Safety Cabinets should be surface decontaminated with disinfectant at the end of your work

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