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Biological safety cabinets: considerations for the industrial hygienist.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1991 Feb; 6(2):119-124
An investigation was undertaken of the primary containment capability of biological safety cabinets (BSCs) in connection with an exposure to Legionella-pneumophila at a research laboratory. Major factors of concern included cabinet selection, cabinet certification, cabinet user information and cabinet documents. A visual check of the external cabinet structure and of the cabinet workspace was performed. Information regarding prescribed cabinet uses and limitations was obtained from the manufacturer. This cabinet exhausted filtered air into the testing room atmosphere. However, the filter test data indicated that small amounts of unfiltered air may have been intermittently released to the room atmosphere. Exhaust of this air may have resulted in the uptaking of L-pneumophila. Uptake could also have occurred as a result of leakage of contaminated air through defects found in the cabinet structure. The industrial hygiene manager or investigator must be aware that the type of BSC for a given application depends on the specific agent being manipulated and the degree of protection required. Once the choice is made and the cabinet installed, it must be maintained and tested at scheduled intervals. Personnel must be instructed in the proper usage of the cabinet as well as any limitations.
NIOSH-Author; Laboratory-workers; Safety-equipment; Air-quality-monitoring; Bacterial-disease; Safety-practices; Disease-prevention
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division