What is Biological Safety Cabinet Testing?
Biosafety cabinets, also known as BSC’s or MSC’s, are primary barriers of containment used in cleanroom environments or research centres and hospitals, for work with potentially infectious agents. They offer localised environmental protection for the user using hepa filtration and an exhaust system. These units must therefore be reliable as it is a key safety measure. A BSC is an enclosed ventilated work area and the different types that exist are distinguished by the level of necessary biocontainment or operator protection. Biosafety cabinets are predominantly for operator protection, but a class II cabinet also offers product protection. Qualified personnel who are specialised in maintenance and certification of such equipment must certify the equipment at least annually depending on your requirements. A BSC that contains a Grade A or ISO 5 environment should be tested bi-annually. The process leading to the certification is known as biological safety cabinet validation testing, or BCS testing. This is a legal requirement for regular maintenance and examination under COSHH regulations. It’s important to have a validation process to control the routine validation testing of all biosafety cabinet devices and a risk assessment may be necessary.