Administration Policies


UMB Policy on Annual Certification of Biosafety Cabinets and Clean Air Benches

Administration   |   Approved March 11, 2002

Responsible VP/AVP

Dawn M. Rhodes, DBA, MBA

Revision History

Approved by the President, March 11, 2002

Policy Statement


To define the University of Maryland, Baltimore policy on certification of biosafety cabinets (BSC) and clean air benches (CAB).


  1. All ventilated cabinets must be performance tested or certified in accordance with manufacturer specifications at least annually. The certifications will follow the NSF-49 Standard (for biosafety cabinets) or the Federal Standard 209E (for clean air benches).
  2. Frequency of testing is not limited to once a year. Ventilated cabinets used for specialized activities must be certified every six months.
  3. Performance tests/certifications must be conducted only by contractors authorized by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  4. Ventilated cabinet installations associated with new construction or renovation project specifications should include the statement that, after installation, each ventilated cabinet must be performance tested to the appropriate performance standard (NSF or 209-E) and be certified to the manufacturer's design performance specifications.
  5. Performance testing or certification must be performed:
    1. Before initial use;
    2. After moving a BSC or CAB from one location to another;
    3. After replacement of high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter(s);
    4. At least annually;
    5. After possible BSC or CAB damage;
    6. Following a large spill or accident inside the BSC;
    7. When requested by the Biosafety Officer.
  6. Ventilated cabinets that have not been certified

    within one month after the anniversary date will be posted with a yellow warning sign, "Do Not Use This Cabinet With Biohazardous Agents."

  7. Ventilated cabinets must not be moved unless the Office of Environmental Health and Safety has approved the new location and cleared the cabinet for moving. A Clearance for Maintenance form must be obtained from the Biosafety Officer, and when necessary, from the Radiation and Chemical Safety Officers.


Specific guidance on the implementation of this policy can be found under the topic of Biosafety on the Environmental Health and Safety web site:


Biosafety cabinets are primary barrier protection for individuals working with biologic materials. Annual biosafety cabinet certification is required according to the following references:

  1. CDC/NIH, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 4th edition, May 1999.
  2. NIH, Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, January 2001 or latest amendment.
  3. National Science Foundation, International Class II (Laminar Flow) Biohazard Cabinetry Standard 49, 1992 or latest revision.
  4. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Controlling occupational exposure to hazardous drugs, 1995.
  5. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Technical Assistance Bulletin on handling cytotoxic and hazardous drugs, 1990.
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