Environmental Health and Safety

Proper Biological Safety Cabinet Use

All Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) that are used with infectious materials must be certified annually and after repairs/being moved/maintained. Certifications and repairs are performed by a contractor coordinated through EHS.


Operating Procedure

Safe Operation


A typical layout for working “clean to dirty” within a Class II BSC. Clean cultures (left) can be inoculated (center); contaminated pipettes can be discarded in the shallow pan and other contaminated materials can be placed in the biohazard bag (right). This arrangement is reversed for left-handed persons.

biosafety cabinet workflow layout illustration

One method to protect a house vacuum system during aspiration of infectious fluids. The left suction flask (A) is used to collect the contaminated fluids into a suitable decontamination solution; the right flask serves as a fluid overflow collection vessel. A glass splarger in flask B minimizes splatter. An in-line HEPA filter (C) is used to protect the vacuum system (D) from aerosolized microorganisms.

vacuum protection system illustration


3rd Edition, Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of Biological Safety Cabinets. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, September 2007.

CDC BioSafety Training Course.