You may be buying a biological safety hood for the first time, or you may be wondering if you should replace the one you already own. Ideally, you should have your equipment inspected annually to check for corrosion and rust, both of which can occur either inside or outside the cabinet. Sometimes, parts will break down and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why they would need to be entirely replaced, such as parts going obsolete. When that happens, you need to make sure to get the right hood for your needs.
The most important part of shopping is to make sure you get the right biosafety cabinet classification. There are three main classes with a few subclasses, and each one has a different purpose. If you get a Class I hood, you can protect your workers and your environment, but because of the unfiltered air, it won’t protect the product. Class II hoods do, but you can’t use volatile chemicals in all of them. Class III hoods are the safest and can protect your workers and the environment from high-risk organisms.
Once you find the right biosafety cabinet certification, it’s time to start looking at specific models or custom designs. Make sure it’s large enough to meet your needs but small enough to fit comfortably into your available space. It will also need to be a certain distance from doors, windows, and supply diffusers.
You will also need to carefully set up the rest of the lab space before your new biosafety hoods arrive. In order to protect your employees and your products, you should make sure you have a secure HVAC system dedicated to your lab area as this space will need to be sterile to prevent contamination. When your hoods arrive, make sure they work and that they lock and seal properly. Also, make sure all personnel are familiar with all procedures relating to the new equipment.