6 tips to improve the use of your BSC, biological safety cabinet

6 tips to optimize the use of a Biological Safety Cabinet

In this article, we won’t presume to explain how to use a BSC… We spend more time behind our computers than in front of a BSC.

However, during the interviews we conducted to write the series of articles on BSCs, we gathered some tips here and there for “optimizing” the use of our BSCs.

Here they are:




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1 – Don’t start too quickly

Once started, wait 5 to 15 minutes before beginning operations in the BSC. This allows the HEPA filter to become electrostatically charged, which will only be 100% effective after this period.

It gives you some time to… prepare your operation, for example!

2 – Not too close to the front airflow grill

In a BSC, it is necessary to manipulate at least 10 cm from the front air intake grille.
Ideally, work about 10 cm from the front airflow grill (photo credit Kaptitude)

Generally, it is recommended to work at least 10 cm away from the front airflow grill. This helps not to disturb the protective air stream.

Let’s remember that it’s this protective air stream that protects the operator from possible contamination!

3 – Avoid a revolving door situation with your BSC

Limit entries and exits from the BSC. If it can’t be avoided, make sure to disinfect your hands/gloves each time (both entry AND exit).

4 – The BSC is not a storage area

Limit the number of items stored inside the BSC. This will disturb the laminar flow and increase the risk of contamination.

5 – In praise of slowness

a microbiologist manipulate under a BSC, with a tortoise shell on his back.
Slow, slow and… slow !

No, you don’t need to be a tortoise to operate in a BSC, but slow movements are still preferred. Again, for issues of flow disturbance and thus contamination.

6 – What to do in case of an alarm?

When the BSC goes into alarm, the operator must close the window and secure himself… but well, that’s in theory.

And you, what are your tips for optimizing the use of your BSC?

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