The Baker Company

Can overcrowding a BSC work area lead to a loss of containment?

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Abstract
Work conducted in Biosafety Cabinets (BSCs) is a common sight in many laboratories worldwide, but some misconceptions about their capabilities sometimes arise. A BSC used for storage of materials or the air grilles or grates blocked is often observed, but no conclusive evidence has shown whether this will affect the BSCs performance.

Here we explored and tested the effect of overcrowding a cabinet as well as blocking off the front grille to determine if it will maintain ISO Class 5 air cleanliness.

Not surprisingly, once the airflow patterns within the cabinet were compromised, containment was drastically decreased, increasing the risk of contamination occurring to either the work or the worker. Therefore, storing materials within a BSC and especially blocking the front intake grille is highly discouraged.

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