Care and Use of Biosafety Cabinets

This course focuses on biosafety cabinet guidelines and standards; types, proper selection, and placement of biosafety cabinets; safe use and maintenance of biological safety cabinets; and certification of biosafety cabinets.

This course is based on the content outlined in the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) certification exam guidelines for the Care and Use of Biosafety Cabinets and can be used as a study aid.


Course Learning Objectives
• The importance of using biological safety cabinets for handling infectious or potentially infectious materials.
• The process for selecting and placing the proper biological safety cabinet in a laboratory.
• The selection and proper use of a biological safety cabinet for varying levels of infectious materials.
• The proper care and maintenance of biological safety cabinets.
Chapter 1
A. The sources of aerosols, and the risks associated with aerosols in the context of laboratory safety.
B. The historical background of laboratory acquired infections (LAI).
C. The historical and current use of biological safety cabinets (BSC) in laboratory settings.
D. Proper care and use of biological safety cabinets reduce the risk of LAI’s associated with aerosols.
Chapter 2
A. The features of Class I, Class II, and Class III BSCs.
B. The circumstances where each class of BSC is best suited for a task or situation.
C. The physical laboratory issues involved in selecting a location for a BSC.
D. Airflow in relation to BSC type.
Chapter 3
A. The components of biological safety cabinets.
B. The three different methods by which particles are removed by a HEPA or ULPA filter.
C. The range of particle sizes handled in the BSC and the relationship of particle size to HEPA filtration efficiency.
Chapter 4
A. How to safely operate a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC).
B. The proper techniques for cleaning and disinfecting a BSC.
C. The common errors that laboratory technicians might make while setting up, using, or cleaning a BSC.
Chapter 5
A. The requirements for performance testing in Biological Safety Cabinets.
B. The five major tests that comprise performance testing.
C. Optional testing for BSCs.