Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) Use

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are the most effective and most used primary containment devices in research and clinical laboratories working with biohazardous materials, including infectious agents. BSCs are primary containment devices that provide protection from biohazardous material for the user and surrounding environment.

There are three classes of BSCs: Class I, II and III. All three classes of BSCs afford personnel and environmental protection; however, only Class II and III cabinets provide product protection (i.e., sterility of cell cultures or pharmaceuticals).

DSOs/LSOs must provide training to research personnel on the correct operation of BSCs. Research personnel should complete the CITI training course, Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs), prior to using a BSC. BSCs used for biohazardous materials must be properly maintained. A BSC must be inspected and tested by a certified technician, following the NSF/ANSI 49-2019 Standard, to certify that it is working properly. Upon delivery to the laboratory, the BSC must be certified to ensure that no damage to the filter system occurred during shipment. Section (e)(2)(iii)(A) of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, requires that BSCs used for work involving any biohazardous material must be certified on an annual basis. The certification of BSCs in research and clinical laboratories will be inspected during annual laboratory inspections by Environmental Health & Safety (EnvH&S) and the Institutional Biosafety Program.

Vacuum lines and/or vacuum traps connected to BSCs must be protected by an inline filtration device with a hydrophobic PTFE membrane.

To comply with the hazard communication requirements, the universal biohazard symbol must be affixed to the exterior surface of the BSC so that it is visible to anyone within the vicinity of the BSC.