Biosafety cabinets and their hazard groups

Offering protection from microbiological contamination in the lab, biosafety cabinets are an integral tool for many industries. From the pharma and medical sectors, through to the electronics industry, they are key to ensuring work can be carried out safely and securely.

There are differing levels of these cabinets, often also referred to as a biological safety cabinet or laminar air flow cabinet, with each one offering different levels of protection. As a result, certain hazard groups should not be used in certain cabinets.

Here is a brief summary of the standard biohazard groups, along with advice in regards to which biosafety cabinet is appropriate.

Hazard Group 1

These bio agents are unlikely to cause diseases to the environment or lab personnel. As a result, these can be worked on with a containment level one safety cabinet. This means open bench working is acceptable, with no containment or air filtration needed.

Hazard Group 2

The agents in this group only offer a low hazard to people and the environment. The spread of disease is unlikely, whilst effective treatments are readily accessible. Open bench working is again okay, unless working with aerosol emissions, which require containment level two graded cabinets.

Hazard Group 3

Hazard group three agents offer the potential for severe disease, and the potential for disease spread. Despite treatments being available for the diseases, biological safety cabinets with a containment level rating of three should be used.

Whilst accurate, this article is just for guidance. Tailored cabinets can also be provided by experienced biological safety cabinet and clean air providers.

Leave a Reply