Microbiological Safety Equipment - Information Guide

Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinets

Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinet
What is a Class 2 Safety Cabinet?

A Class 2 Safety Cabinet is a type of microbiological safety cabinet which offers operator and materials protection for specialist scientific work in the fields of health and scientific research.

A Class 2 Safety Cabinet, like all microbiological safety cabinets, is a specially ventilated enclosure, developed for sterile materials handling in the laboratory environment.

Class 2 Cabinets provide both the operator and the working materials protection from potential biohazard infections.

Class 2 Cabinets can be installed for flexible laboratory use or as more specialised, bespoke units.

In all cases Class 2 Safety Cabinets can be custom built to suit the requirements of the laboratory.

Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinet


How do Class 2 Cabinets work?

The Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinet provides protection from contamination via a combination of inflow and downflow air.

Airborne particulate contamination is extinguished from the Class 2 Safety Cabinet via internal airflow and filtration systems.

Inflow air is drawn underneath the main work surface through the open front aperture of the biological cabinet and is passed through a downflow HEPA filter into the main workspace.

This provides a uni-directional downward laminar airflow inside the cabinet and also an air curtain at the front aperture, preventing release of contamination into the atmosphere. Exhaust air is HEPA filtered before leaving the cabinet. A single HEPA filter is employed for exhaust models or double HEPA filters for recirculating cabinets.

Normally a front aperture allows the Class 2 Safety Cabinet operator to carry out actions inside the cabinet - the safety cabinet having been made so that the operator is protected; and the risk of product contamination and cross-contamination is kept to a minimum.



Class 2 Safety Cabinet Airflow Diagram



What makes Class 2 Cabinets so special?

With the Class 2 Safety Cabinet user protection is provided by means of an advanced inflow air stream.

A Class 2 Safety Cabinet is designed to reduce contamination risks from potentially infectious agents within the cabinet working environment for all but the most serious biological contagions.

Materials are protected from the external environment by a stream of downflow HEPA filtered air.

Significantly, Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinets, unlike Class 1 variants, also provide clean air conditions over the working area for the operator, the environment as well as the material. Class I Biological Safety Cabinets provide handler and protection for the environment but no safety protection for the material.




HEPA Filters Safety Cabinets



Who uses Class 2 Safety Cabinets?

Class 2 Cabinets are the most popular bio cabinet in use today, relied upon by pharmaceutical companies, engineering companies, university research departments, commercial and non-profit organisations of all shapes and sizes.



They are suitable for any scientific organisation which seeks to render personnel, equipment, materials and microbiological agents and organisms sterile and safe from contamination.




What Biohazards can Class 2 Cabinets protect against?

Class 2 Cabinets are the most popular bio cabinet in use today, relied upon by pharmaceutical companies, engineering companies, university research departments, commercial and non-profit organisations of all shapes and sizes.

They are suitable for any scientific organisation which seeks to render personnel, equipment, materials and microbiological agents and organisms sterile and safe from contamination.

A Class 2 Safety Cabinet is suitable for agents and materials in Hazard Groups 1 to 3 but not in Hazard Group 4.



Bio Hazard - Class 2 Safety Cabinets

Hazard Group 1

Biological agents unlikely to cause human disease.

Hazard Group 2

Potential hazards but unlikely to spread to the community and are treatable.

Hazard Group 3

Potential risk of severe human disease contagion but treatments available.

Hazard Group 4

Risk of severe human disease and also a serious risk of spreading to the community with no effective prophylaxis or treatment available. Requires highly specialised intervention.





Are Class 2 Cabinets complicated to use?

Ultimately Class 2 Safety Cabinets are user friendly, benefiting from simple set up, safe and easy operation, easy cleaning, testing as well as consistent performance for their required purpose.

However, Class 2 Safety Cabinets, like all biological safety cabinets require careful project management including planning over the choice of location plus correct installation and testing.

Class 2 Cabinets also benefit from regular on-going maintenance, especially regarding the effectiveness of biological containment and filter integrity.



Class 2 Safety Cabinet Panel



Class 2 Safety Cabinet - Maintenance

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Installation

It is essential that Class 2 Safety Cabinets are sited in the laboratory in a suitably uncluttered location with no disruption to downflow air streams. The apparatus should be inspected to ensure no damage has occurred in transit, including a full operational and safety inspection.





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Testing

Performance testing should be carried out prior to use and on a regular basis. Class 2 Safety Cabinets require performance verification at the time of installation and at least once a year thereafter.







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Cleaning

It is essential to keep the Class 2 Safety Cabinet clean on a regular basis. The Class 2 Safety Cabinet should be cleaned delicately, when necessary, with a sterile soft cloth and recommended disinfectant product. If internal surfaces become contaminated with biohazard aerosols or materials they should be wiped and cleaned as instructed by your supplier or the operating manual.

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Class 2 Safety Cabinet - Applications and Benefits

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Specialist

While there are a wide range of standard Class 2 Safety Cabinet models to choose from Class 2 Safety Cabinets can be developed as bespoke laboratory solutions, customised to suit the technical requirements and working conditions of specific laboratory processes. Larger Class 2 Safety Cabinets are available for specialised large scale projects and applications.

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Environmental

The latest range of Class 2 Safety Cabinets has been awarded carbon neutral status, so they can play a role in an organisation's ethical policy. Newer Class 2 Safety Cabinets can make a verifiable contribution for any laboratory introducing carbon reduction policies.




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Flexible

Quality designs are available for specific purposes or multi-purpose usage and come with comprehensive instrumentation systems. Class 2 Safety Cabinet parts and components should be selected and tested to ensure they meet performance requirements. Cabinets are usually constructed in a durable, easy to maintain and clean stainless steel suitable for a variety of applications.

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Need more information about Class 2 Microbiological Safety Cabinets?
Microbiological Safety Cabinets

The production installation and testing of Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinets in the UK is covered by British Standards and enforced in the workplace by Defra and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Full regulatory information about Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinets can be found at the official British Standards website, including maintenance reccomendations and performance basics.

The main standards are:
BS EN 12469:2000
Performance criteria.
BS 5726:2005
Product information, installation, siting and usage.



You can also visit Contained Air Solutions, where Class 2 Safety Cabinet data sheets can be downloaded for free.
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