Class II Biological Safety FAQs

Explore some of our most frequently asked questions relating to these powerful pieces of laboratory equipment.

As one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of laboratory equipment & clean air technology, our team is asked a lot of questions relating to the equipment we supply, the safe servicing requirements, the mechanics of equipment, filters etc. Our customers are passionate about the equipment they use and ensuring their teams are safe, secure and working efficiently. So we’ve summarised some of the top questions we are asked relating to Class II Biological Safety Cabinets. 

“When used properly, Class II Cabinets are highly effective in the reduction of laboratory-acquired infections and/or hazardous drug exposure, the protection of product from outside contaminants, and protection of cultures from cross-contamination”

How does the class II provide clean air to the working chamber?

Unidirectional HEPA filtered air cascades downward into the chamber; Air is drawn into the vented base, then travels up the rear wall plenum to the internal fan. Air is then discharged upstream of a full face HEPA Filter and returned to the chamber.

Because the Class II uses UV light, do I still need to use a surface decontaminate?

UV light should not be relied upon as the sole decontaminating agent. 
Surface disinfection should be performed before and after every cabinet use.

Should I leave the UV light on at all times for optimal effectiveness?

The UV light should be turned on only when no one is in the room and the Safety Sash is completely lowered. Eyes and skin should not be exposed to this harsh light. The UV light bulb loses effectiveness over time and should be replaced when intensity drops below an optimal level.

How often should I have my biological safety cabinet serviced & certified?

An annual certification recommended, although some institutions’ protocols require a more frequent schedule. If filters are changed or the unit is relocated the cabinet will require re-certification.

Where is the best location within the laboratory for a biological safety cabinet?

The ideal location is a corner area of the laboratory, away from personnel traffic, vents, doors, windows and other sources of disruptive air currents.

What does HEPA filter stand for?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air or sometimes High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter. Its efficiency is rated at least 99.997% efficient on particles of 0.3 microns in size.

Is it recommended to have more than one person working in a biological safety cabinet at one time?

We do not recommend more than one user working through the front access opening of any Class II Biological Safety Cabinet. A risk assessment should be performed by the individual most familiar with the product being considered for use within the cabinet.
When used properly, Class II Cabinets are highly effective in the reduction of laboratory-acquired infections and/or hazardous drug exposure, the protection of product from outside contaminants, and protection of cultures from cross-contamination.

Do you have a question relating to Class II Bio-Safety?

If you have a question that we didn’t cover off here, drop a comment below and we would be thrilled to add it here to our FAQs.

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