Biological agents are fairly common in laboratory settings. There are many kinds of agents that have a variety of effects on humans and their environment., and scientists might need a wide range of samples to study. That’s where a biological safety cabinet comes into play. This enclosed, ventilated workspace within a laboratory gives us a chance to safely work with these pathogens, as long as you regularly get proper biological safety cabinet testing. The exact standards depend on your biosafety cabinet classification and other specifications such as the cabinet’s make, model, and size. However, it’s important for you to get your cabinets certified for a couple reasons.
Maintaining Industry Standards
The NSF has a long list of standards that a biosafety cabinet has to reach before it can be used legally. To get biosafety cabinet certification, the certifier has to examine all aspects of the cabinet’s operation to determine whether or not it can provide the level of protection that it was designed for. They make sure that it functions, that it was made of proper materials, and that it was designed and constructed well. They run a range of tests, checking the inflow and downflow velocity, looking for airflow smoke patterns, test the alarms, scan for filter leaks and more.
Even after a cabinet passes certification, it must undergo subsequent tests to make sure that it stays up to standard. Any time you replace a HEPA filter or have any sort of maintenance done, you should have it reevaluated, and it should happen periodically no matter what. Some cabinets need testing every 6 months or so, but the exact length of time varies based on the type of cabinet. No matter what type it is, though, if you want your cabinet to be completely legal, you need to have it tested and certified.
Even if you didn’t have to get your cabinet certified, it would still be a good idea for safety reasons. The people who interact with the cabinet as a matter of routine probably aren’t the same people who designed and build it, and they probably aren’t qualified to certify cabinets themselves. That means that they’re better off getting the experts to conduct biosafety cabinet testing
. Unless you want to risk your workers touching or breathing in a contaminated substance of some kind, certification is the only real option that you have. If you’re sure that nothing is leaking out and that air is being filtered correctly, that can go a long way to improve your peace of mind and to protecting the environment around your office, which could also be exposed to harmful substances.
There are a lot of side benefits to safety as well, besides the general health of your people and the environment around your laboratory. For instance, you could be saving yourselves a lot of money in the long run. When accidents happen with biosafety cabinets, it is often very costly to the company involved. They have to spend a lot to clean up the area and potentially pay fines and fees to anyone who was injured as a result of poor safety measures. If you want to save that money while keeping your workers as safe as possible, then call a biosafety cabinet management company today to find out what would be involved. Contact Atlantic Technical Systems today for more information.