Here are some important tips when working with biosafety cabinet:

Certified time

Always have the biosafety cabinets certified at the time of installation and if they are ever moved or repaired. It is also recommended to routinely test the quality of the airflow and filter integrity every 6 to 12 months.

Biosafety cabinets may be equipped with germicidal UV lights for decontaminating work surfaces. However, the efficacy of UV lamps has been challenged. The UV lights must directly strike a microorganism in order to destroy it. Over time, the UV output and germicidal capacity of the tube diminishes. In addition, there are safety concerns related to the exposure to UV light (Phelan, 2007). UV exposure is damaging to the eyes and skin; therefore, the UV light should never be on while the cabinet is in use.

Biosafety cabinets and hoods should be turned on 15 minutes prior to use each day. Work surfaces should be wiped down with 70% ethanol, before and after each use and between handling different cell lines.

Wipe down bottles and flasks with 70% ethanol or another suitable disinfectant before placing them in the cabinet.

Wear a clean lab coat when working in a hood. This coat should be for hood use only and should not be worn anywhere else in the laboratory.

Limit the number of people in the area around the hood. This reduces levels of airborne contaminants.

Avoid unnecessary talking while working in the hood. Talking generates microbe-laden aerosols that can then enter into the hood.

Avoid moving materials in or out of the hood while work is in progress.

Keep the hood work area clean and uncluttered. Do not use hoods as storage cabinets. Clutter makes it very difficult to clean the work surface properly and can disrupt the laminar flow around the work area.

Do not use open flames, especially Bunsen burners, in laminar flow hoods.

Doors in the culture area should be kept closed while the hood is in use. Opening a door can create a back draft that disrupts laminar flow in hoods.

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