Many chronic degenerative diseases are caused by long-term infections or being set-off by the long-term effects of pathogenic microorganisms on the human body. This includes diseases such as stroke, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers and many others.

When pathogens enter the human body they wreak havoc on the body. Many of the diseases we’ve always believed to have no cure are caused by microbial infections. But how do scientists work safely with these infectious micro-organisms? How do bio-safety cabinets fit in? After all, those working in laboratories stand the chance of acquiring infections from the agents they work with. Hand washing is effectively used in the laboratory for the removal of these unwanted toxic materials, but is this enough?

Solutions to Occupational Hazards

Biosafety cabinets are the main means of containment for working with infectious microorganisms, and lab supervisors have training in microbiology but also general lab safety procedures.  The main purpose of these cabinets is to protect the operator as well as the environment from biological contaminants. In fact, all work that can create aerosols is done inside a biological safety cabinet. Floor, wall and floor penetrations are also sealed so as to contain gaseous decontaminants and aerosols.

These biological safety cabinets are used to do research in pharmaceutical settings as well as industrial and clinical settings. They provide various levels of protection. It’s not everyone who can use these cabinets, and proper training is required. The bio-safety cabinet is an enclosed, ventilated hood which allows one to handle pathogens safely as well as contaminants and other hazardous materials. This is an important piece of laboratory equipment, providing protection for personnel and environment.

The Different Class Biosafety Cabinets

There are 3 types of biological safety cabinet, Class I, II and III. Class II is a popular choice. A HEPA filter is used before exhaust air is emitted. Laboratory workers began using the class II safety cabinet which actually became the mainstay in laboratories as well as pharmacies.

Class II hoods provide personnel-, environmental and product protection for a range of risk materials.  Airflow is drawn into the front grille. The downward flow of HEPA-filtered air provides product protection by minimizing the chance of cross-contamination across the hood’s work surface.

The proper class and type of biosafety cabinet must be selected so as to match the need for the specific application and level of bio-containment required. Class I and II cabinets are free-standing while Class III is an enclosed unit. This class of safety cabinet is used for work with high-hazard micro-organisms.

Training and Hygiene Practices are Important

The person at risk of exposure and laboratory-acquired infection is the person working hard in the laboratory to identify a suspect infectious agent within a specimen. Cleanliness, knowledge, training as well as the choice of safety equipment and work practices around the equipment is critical so as to prevent personal exposure.

Biosafety cabinet-training and education of workers about potential hazards in the lab as well as how to ensure safe work practices are essential. They work together to create a safe work environment in the laboratory.