What exactly is a biosafety cabinet? It is a vital tool in the fight against bio-terrorism, as it makes the handling of potentially hazardous medical and biohazardous materials easy while still maintaining strict safety precautions for employees and researchers. A biosafety cabinet (also known as a medical security cabinet or a biosafety cabinet) is an interior, sealed lab workspace for safely handling bio-hazardous materials requiring a defined biosafety level for the storage, preparation, administration and disposal of these materials. It is a key component in the response to biohazards in the workplace and has the ability to make a difference in the lives of those who are affected by the threats posed by bio-born pathogens. Proper use of a biosafety cabinet can help to save lives. For more info see the article.
Different types of Biosafety Cabinets are available that include: Class I, Class II, Class III and a negative pressure type. A Class I biohazards cabinet is designed to mitigate the effects of a pathogen by creating a physical barrier against airborne entry. High efficiency polyethylene with mesh bottoms and a dust sheet is used to design this type of cabinet. Due to the low level of air flow through the cabinet, it is an ideal cabinet for the safe storage and evaluation of infectious agents.
A Class II cabinet is constructed to protect personnel from exposure to an infected surface via airborne routes. To achieve this, biological safety cabinets are equipped with air-tight doors and are designed to achieve positive air pressure that will prevent aerosols, vapors, and other particulate matter from escape. A positive air pressure makes it harder for pathogens to grow by reducing the rate at which air moves through the cabinet. The use of a hepa-filtered exhaust system ensures that the air inside the cabinet is free of dust, particulates and infectious aerosols.