Biosafety Cabinets

Are you using your Biological Safety Cabinet correctly?

  • The cabinet must be turned on at least 5-10 minutes before starting work in order to purge the air and remove any particulates.
  • The researcher must wear a closed-front lab coat (or surgical gown) and gloves while working at the cabinet.
  • All materials needed for the manipulations should be placed in the cabinet before the work is initiated to minimize in-and-out motions.
  • Cabinets should not be used for storage. Minimize the amount of long-term materials left in the cabinet.
  • Do not cover the air grills with any items.
  • The researcher should work at least four inches into the cabinet.
  • The entry door to the lab must be kept closed and traffic minimized when the cabinet is in use.
  • Develop procedures for the collection and decontamination of waste materials to avoid clutter and minimize in-and-out motions.
  • The cabinet must be decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant at the beginning and end of each work operation.
  • Periodic use of 10% household bleach in water is acceptable, but chlorine is corrosive (70% ethanol wipe-down after every bleach use is required).
  • UV-light should only be used as a secondary method to sterilize the cabinet in between uses.
  • All biological safety cabinets must be certified for use 1) when first installed, 2) any time the unit is moved or repaired, and 3) on an annual basis.
  • If large equipment is permanently used in the cabinet (ex: robotic pipette systems) then the cabinet must be certified with the equipment in place.
  • All cabinets will have a certification sticker indicating the last date of testing on the front face of the cabinet