Biological safety cabinets are used at the university as a primary means of containment
for working safely with infectious microorganisms. A properly certified and operational
biological safety cabinet is an effective engineering control which must be used in
concert with appropriate work practices, procedures and other administrative controls
to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious microorganisms. The Biosafety Office
can provide guidance on the selection, installation and use of biological safety cabinets.
Biological safety cabinets must be tested and certified at least annually to ensure
continued proper operation. All Class II BSCs will be tested and certified in accordance
with specifications in NSF Standard 49 and the manufacturer’s specifications. The
NSF 49 establishes minimum requirements for materials, design, construction, and performance
of biosafety cabinets that are designed to provide personnel, product, and environmental
protection. The operational integrity must be validated by certification before a
newly installed BSC is used and after a BSC has been repaired or relocated. After
a BSC has been certified, a label will be prominently affixed to the front of the
BSC, displaying the date of certification and name of the certifier.
BSCs that have been used for work involving infectious materials must be decontaminated
before HEPA filters are changed or internal repair work is done. BSCs must be decontaminated
prior to decommissioning and salvaging. Before a BSC is relocated, a risk assessment
considering the agents manipulated within the BSC must be performed to determine the
need and method for decontamination.
The Biosafety Office manages the University’s contract for the annual certification of all biological safety cabinets. BioTech Balancing is the approved vendor for performing the annual certification of biological safety cabinets, including any required maintenance or repairs. You can contact the vendor directly at: