How to use a Biosafety cabinet?

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Biosafety Cabinets protect the operator and the environment by preventing exposure to hazardous chemicals, blood-borne pathogens, and chemical vapors. A biosafety cabinet comprises two major components: a HEPA filter for chemical spills and a high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter for aerosols. A HEPA filter is generally more effective than a PAPR respirator in protecting biological agents. In addition, a biosafety cabinet prevents exposure to hazardous substances like blood-borne pathogens, chemical vapors, or airborne pathogens that may be present in an experimental setting.

Basic information:

A biosafety cabinet is a cabinet with an exhaust designed to prevent the escape of hazardous materials from the laboratory. It is designed so that hazardous materials retained inside the laboratory are exhausted outside of it.

The cabinet is designed to prevent the spread of infectious agents and hazardous chemicals, and other airborne diseases. The exhaust consists of high-efficiency filters, which trap contaminated particles and return the clean air into the room. The HEPA filter is the core component of any biosafety unit or laboratory hood.

Understand how your BSC works:

The air enters the Global Lab Supply by Benchtop Biosafety Cabinet through the vertical air inlet on the right side of the cabinet. The air then passes through HEPA filters, which remove any particles larger than 0.3 µm, including those potentially hazardous to your health (bacteria, viruses, etc.). The exhaust consists of a HEPA filter which removes all infectious agents and prevents them from spreading around your lab. It also has an integral fan. The fan pulls clean air out of the lab and forces it through the filter for removal of airborne contaminants before it is returned to you to breathe.

Biosafety Cabinet Components:

A Benchtop Biosafety Cabinet has a multi-layered filtration system available on many popular platforms like global lab supply. These include HEPA filters (for sampling and aerosol work) and PAPR filters (for respirators).

  • Top Plate: Top plate is made of carbon steel with a powder-coated paint finish to extend its life and make cleaning easier. The top plate has two sets of metal handles for easy lifting. It also has a latch that helps keep your cabinet clean and safe.
  • PAPR Filter: PAPR stands for Personal Air Purifying Respirator, an air filtration unit designed for use in environments where airborne pathogens are present. PAPRs collect and remove contaminants such as dust particles, pollen, mold spores, and other particulates, thus protecting against exposure to potentially toxic substances.
  • HEPA Filter: These filters separate clean air from contaminated air. HEPA filters remove dust, lint, and other particles down to 0.3 microns (a micron is 1/1000th of a millimeter or 0.03937 inches) in size.

How to use it lab:

A BSC’s main purpose is to protect the life of a researcher. Using this device with the proper knowledge and the right precautions will be enjoyable and safe. On days when you are analyzing material for potential bacterial contamination, it is best to wear a HEPA mask with a rubberized face piece instead of a liquid or plastic one. The rubberized facepiece works as a barrier to prevent air from entering your mouth or nose when wearing the mask.

To have the most comfortable experience possible, you must ensure that your lab coat isn’t too tight around your waistline. In addition, if you are analyzing a material containing potentially hazardous chemicals, it is best to wear safety glasses. This way, you can prevent potentially harmful chemicals from entering your eyes.

Finally, always be careful when moving around in the lab or handling materials with a BSC. When moving around, slowly bend your knees and elbows, then use them to support your body weight as you move around instead of your back. It will help avoid any injuries if you fall over or drop a part of a sample on yourself.

Clear and decontaminate the BSC:

When working in any lab, you should always wipe down all the surfaces around you with a laboratory disinfectant. It helps prevent contamination and ensures that anything you may drop during an experiment or clean-up will not infect your samples or cause your workspace to turn into a dangerous place.

For it to be truly effective, air must be circulated frequently in and out of the cabinet using a fan. Carbon filters can also be used for additional protection from airborne pathogens but will make your laboratory smell like exhaust fumes.

Conclusion:

It protects you from potentially harmful pathogens and chemicals that can occur in experiments conducted with biological substances; and will provide you with countless hours of invaluable research. Unfortunately, the equipment utilized in a laboratory-based environment is very expensive and hard to come by. It is imperative to protect your BSC from any unnecessary damage.

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