Biological Safety Cabinets and Clean Benches

While all types of biological safety cabinets protect personnel and the environment from exposure to contaminants within the cabinet, clean benches do not. In clean benches, contaminated air is directly blown towards the user and surrounding environment. For this purpose, clean benches should only be used to conduct work that requires sterile conditions (such as preparing sterile solutions) but that does not involve manipulation of biohazards, chemical hazards or radioactivity. 

BIOLOGICAL SAFETY CABINET                      CLEAN BENCH (Horizontal flow)

        

In a BSC, the filter(s) are located on the upper part above the work area, which is separated from the user by a sash or viewscreen (left picture). In contrast, the filter can be located above (vertical flow) or in the back (horizontal flow) of a clean bench, and there may or may not be a sash (right picture).

Always use your biological safety cabinet for cell culture work, especially when working with human or primate cell lines, to avoid potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens!