Classification of class 2 type biosafety cabinets

Widely used in clinical, pharmaceutical and life science laboratories, class 2 type biosafety cabinets offer full personnel and environmental protection from level 1 to 3 biohazards. In addition, they protect any samples or products within the laminar flow hood against cross-contamination. This is achieved by a constant unidirectional flow of HEPA filtered air.

The BioMAT 2 biosafety cabinets supplied by us at Contained Air Solutions Ltd (CAS) use a vertical flow system in which air is drawn from below the main work surface and in through the front aperture, with the downflow passing through a HEPA filter in the main work space. This creates an air curtain at the front aperture, and laminar unidirectional air flow within the cabinet. Exhaust air passes through a single or dual HEPA filter, depending on whether it is an exhaust model or recirculating type. The system ensures that the operator, the experiment and the experimental environment remain free of contamination.

Our biosafety cabinets are manufactured in strict compliance with the British Standards Institute (BSI), in particular BS EN 12469:2000, which covers the specification and performance of various types of laminar flow hood. Other regulations, such as BS 5726:2005 cover the siting, installation and maintenance of biosafety cabinets.

A global classification system, launched by US-based NSF International also exists, under which class 2 cabinets are categorised according to performance and installation. As an example, a Class 2, A1 type laminar flow hood has a minimum inflow velocity of 75 FPM (cubic feet per minute), with 70% of the air recirculated through the supply HEPA filter, and the remaining 30% exhausted from a common plenum to the room. The biologically contaminated plenum may be under positive pressure. However, for all other types the contaminated plenum must be under negative pressure. Class 2 B type biosafety cabinets must have a minimum inflow of 100 FPM, and also be hard-ducted to the exhaust system, rather than installed with a �thimble� fitting.

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