You have come to the right place if you are in the market for a biological safety cabinet. In this buying guide, we will discuss all of the factors you need to consider when making your purchase.
We will also provide an overview of what a biological safety cabinet is and its use. After reading this guide, you will decide which physical safety cabinet is suitable for your needs!
A biological safety cabinet is a ventilation cabinet designed to protect laboratory workers from exposure to hazardous materials.
The cabinet has various safety features, including HEPA filters that remove contaminants from the air and a front-opening work area that allows the user to work without reaching the cabinet.
A biological safety cabinet is also called a biosafety cabinet (BSC) or microbiological safety cabinet.
Biological safety cabinets are used in various environments, including hospitals, research laboratories, and industrial workplaces, to protect individuals from aerosols and splashes when working with biological agents.
When BSCs are adequately maintained, they can serve as an effective barrier to the safe handling of low, moderate, and high-risk organisms.
The cabinet can have up to three layers of protection. The first layer is a HEPA filter that cleans the air in the cupboard. The second layer is a perforated baffle that helps to prevent aerosols and toxic vapors from exiting the cabinet. The third layer is a glove box that allows the operator to contact the material without directly contacting it.
Biological safety cabinets:
● Keep the operator safe from infectious items used inside the cabinets
● Keep samples safe from contamination.
● Protects the environment from contaminants inside the cabinet.
A biological safety cabinet has several other features that help to ensure worker safety.
The most critical component of a biological safety cabinet is the HEPA filter. This filter traps particles as small as 0.3 microns, which means it can effectively filter out viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants.
The cabinet also has ultraviolet light that helps to sterilize the interior surfaces. As a result, microorganisms are prevented from growing, posing a risk to workers. Finally, the cabinet has a ventilation system that ensures that any contaminated air is quickly removed from the cabinet's interior.
This system helps to keep workers safe by ensuring that they are not exposed to hazardous materials.
Clean benches and biological safety cabinets create a protected working environment for handling sensitive materials. However, there are some critical differences between the two.
The primary distinction is that the clean bench is designed only to protect the contents of the pure working area. In contrast, a biosafety cabinet protects not just the product but also personnel and lab environments.
A clean bench, sometimes known as laminar flow clean benches or laminar flow hoods, draws air through a HEPA filter and then expels it over the work surface and toward the user, effectively keeping the workstation free of dust and other particles.
Clean benches can be utilized for media plate preparation, plant tissue culture work, the assembly of electronic devices, medical implant devices, or any other sterile equipment that needs a dust-free environment.
Clean benches should not be employed to handle infectious materials, cell culture substances, or drug formulations.
In contrast, a biological safety cabinet uses a combination of HEPA filtration and airflow to create a sterile environment that is safe for handling biohazards.
Both clean benches and biological safety cabinets play an essential role in protecting workers and ensuring the integrity of research materials.
When purchasing a BSC, you want to consider the type of materials you will be working with and the level of protection you need the cabinet to provide.
There are three major classes of BSCs, i.e., Class I, II, and III
Class I Cabinets
Class, I biological safety cabinets are for working with low to moderate risk biological agents, i.e., materials requiring Biosafety levels (BSL): 1, 2, and 3.
The front opening ventilates the cabinet and passes through a built-in exhaust fan, HEPA, and Carbon filter to provide operator and environmental protection. The air then leaves the cabinet at the back of the work surface.
Class II Cabinets
A Class II cabinet is a ventilated cabinet used for personnel, product, and environmental protection in microbiological work or sterile pharmaceutical compounding.
They have an open front that draws in the air (personnel safety), downward HEPA-filtered airflow (product protection), and HEPA-filtered exhaust air (environmental protection).
These are based on their construction, airflow, and exhaust systems. A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1 are the categories in this type of cabinet. They require that all biologically contaminated ducts and plenums be under negative pressure or surrounded by harmful pressure ducts and plenums.
Type B2 cabinets go further by ensuring that all biologically contaminated ducts and plenums be under negative pressure or surrounded by directly exhausted harmful pressure ducts and plenums. Class II cabinets, like Class I cabinets, are safe for workplace use with BSL-1, 2, and 3 agents.
Class III Cabinets
A Class III cabinet, often known as a glove box, is an enclosed, vented cabinet with leak-tight construction and rubber gloves attached for working within it.
The cabinet includes a transfer chamber that allows you to disinfect items before they leave the glove box. Negative pressure is maintained inside the cabinet, and air comes into it through HEPA filters.
There is a double HEPA filter or the exhaust air is treated with a HEPA filter and incineration. Work requiring Biosafety Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 containment is permissible in Class III cabinets.
BSCs come in various sizes, and it is essential to select the right one for your needs.
The width of the BSC is an important consideration, as it determines how much workspace you will have inside the cabinet. If you anticipate working with large equipment or multiple samples at once, you will need a wider BSC. However, a wider cabinet can also be more challenging to maneuver in a small lab space.
The height of the BSC is also essential, as it affects both the amount of workspace and the visibility inside the cabinet. Taller cabinets provide more workspace but can make it difficult to see smaller specimens. Shorter cabinets may limit your workspace but can provide better visibility.
Finally, the depth of the BSC should be considered when selecting a model. Deeper cabinets provide more space for storage but can be more challenging to access items at the back of the cabinet. Shallow cabinets may not provide as much storage space but are easier to access.
When selecting a BSC, it is crucial to consider international certificates and safety standards to ensure that the unit adequately protects against potential risks.
The two most important standards are NSF 49 and EN 12469. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredit the NSF Certification. It is recognized as the Class II Microbiological Safety Cabinets certification leader throughout the USA and Canada.
EN12469 is the harmonized European standard for micro microbiological safety cabinets, published by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization.
This standard replaces the British Standard BS5726, German Standard DIN12950 Teil 10, and French Standard NF X44-201 for Microbiological Safety Cabinets.
The type of available accessories is another factor to consider when purchasing a biological safety cabinet (BSC).
UV light, for example, is an essential feature for many BSCs, as it helps sterilize the air inside the cabinet and prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.
A stand is another helpful accessory, as it helps keep the BSC steady and level, making it less likely to tip over or vibrate.
Outlets and service ports are also important considerations, as they allow for gas or vacuum lines to be connected to the BSC. These factors can make a big difference in safety and performance.
When choosing a biological safety cabinet, it is essential to consider both the available services and maintenance. Most manufacturers offer service contracts that cover routine maintenance and cleaning and repairs in the event of a malfunction.
These contracts can help to ensure that your cabinet is always in top working condition. In addition, many manufacturers also offer training services to help users learn how to operate and maintain their cabinets properly.
It's essential to consider the level of service and support available for the cabinet. Getting prompt and reliable service is crucial if something goes wrong with the cabinet.
Finally, you should consider the warranty offered on the cabinet. You can ensure that your investment in a Biological Safety Cabinet is protected long into the future by taking these precautions.
When considering all of these factors, it is easy to see why services and maintenance are important considerations when purchasing a biological safety cabinet.
One crucial factor to consider is price. A balance must be struck between getting a quality product at a reasonable price. The more expensive BSCs will offer more features and better performance. Despite this, they may not always be the best option for every situation. Sometimes, a less expensive model can be just as effective.
Another factor to consider is the prices of replacement parts and routine maintenance. These costs can add up over time, so it is important to factor them into the overall cost of owning a biological safety cabinet.
Thermo Scientific, ESCO, Nuaire, and Labconco are all reputable manufacturers of biological safety cabinets. They offer a variety of options to meet the needs of any lab.
Some prices of different BSC are as follows
● Thermo Scientific™ 1300 Series A2 Class II, Type A2 Bio Safety Cabinets: $12,980
● Labconco Purifier Logic+ Class II A2 Biological Safety Cabinets: $11,307
● Esco AIRSTREAM 4 Ft Class II Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinets: $8,026.67
● NUAIRE 425-400 Class II Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinet: $ 2,753
● BHC-1300 Level Ⅱ A2 Biological Safety Cabinet: USD $6,443.
Medwish.com offers a wide variety of biological safety cabinets to meet any lab's needs. Our bulk pricing options make it easy to get the cabinets you need at a price that fits your budget.
Medwish.com's online services can help you choose the right cabinet for your specific needs.
Whether you're looking for a standalone cabinet or a complete laminar flow workstation, Medwish.com has the products and services you are looking for to keep your lab safe.
In addition, Medwish.com also offers financing options for customers who need assistance with the upfront cost of purchasing a BSC. You can get a single unit or you may need to outfit an entire lab, Medwish.com can help you get the equipment to keep your workplace safe.
Contact us today to learn more about our biological safety cabinets and how we can help you protect your staff and your workspace.
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