The ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is a disaster for public health throughout the globe. The user and the surrounding environment must both be protected while dealing with infectious agents, which necessitates the implementation of adequate biosafety protocols. It is an important piece of diagnostic and research equipment known as a biological safety cabinet (BSC) that serves a major role in safeguarding the health of both people and the environment.
Utility for WHO
For the WHO, the use of validated basic statistical packages (BSCs) is critical to ensuring the validity of the results. According to the nature of the workplace and the unique needs, BSCs may be used in a broad range of ways. Biosafety levels and types of BSCs must be used according to the risk assessment of the pathogen being used in the laboratory. While developing COVID-19 labs and training their employees, we encountered a number of queries about the duties of BSCs. As a result, we came to the conclusion that little is known about the specifics of BSC selection and implementation.
The Importance of Bio Safety
The biosafety aspects of the work that infectious disease diagnostic and research laboratories conduct are subject to a variety of criteria. National and international bodies have issued these guidelines. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-Coronavirus 2 virus, however, has a lack of information regarding the appropriate use and functions of BSCs (SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, the present work gives an extensive explanation of the selection procedure for BSCs and their usage, which may be useful for laboratories planning to handle SARS-CoV-2 and suspected samples or handling them now.
As a fundamental engineering control, the biological safety cabinet (abbreviated BSC) protects workers from exposure to biohazardous or infectious substances by filtering the air entering and leaving the facility. In addition, it aids in the maintenance of the material’s quality control. This equipment has also been referred to as a “tissue culture hood” or a “laminar flow hood.”.
Filtered cabinets are designed to protect workers from potentially harmful aerosols and particles. An exhaust HEPA filter is standard equipment in most biological safety cabinets, allowing laboratory air to be recirculated. Chemical exposure is not reduced by this, but the air is cleaned of potentially infectious aerosols and animal dander or both. This does not reduce the danger of chemical exposure.
In order to prevent spills and reduce the quantity of material that is aerosolized, every operation must be done carefully. Centrifugation, vortexing, sonication, and even the act of opening containers containing infectious pathogens, whose interior pressure may vary from the surrounding environment, may all produce aerosols. Extra safety procedures should be available to alleviate the safety concern if these processes are not performed within the BSC.
Please contact the EHS staffer assigned to your BSC or calls the EHS main line at (734) 647-1143 for assistance with using your BSC.
Selections, Placements, Certifications, Maintenance
- Repairs are covered under a manufacturer’s guarantee
- Biosafety cabinets for bacterial containment
- Standards for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Your research operation could need the following documents, depending on the study you’re doing, the potential risks to which you and your personnel are exposed, and the engineering controls you’re putting in place. The “Word” version of some of these articles is available for download. This gives you the option of printing the documents as-is or downloading them and making changes to meet the needs of your company. It is possible to download the file by clicking on the hyperlink.
At the Labs
For diagnostic and research laboratories, biosafety procedures must be adhered to in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario. Biological safety is defined as “the use of containment concepts, technologies, and practices that are applied to avoid unintended exposure to biological agents or their inadvertent release.” (WHO) Applying biosafety concepts, technology, and practices is what we mean when we say “implement” containment.
These four measures may provide acceptable biosafety in a lab setting. As a major containment measure, BSCs are used as part of the engineering controls, as are the building’s layout and structure. Management of laboratory operations, training, and immunization of testing workers are all examples of administrative controls to look out for. Using personal protective equipment and following SOPs are also part of the equation (SOPs). Each of these four biosafety procedures may be used to attain the maximum degree of biosafety while working with pathogenic organisms in a laboratory.
Best Choices for the Scientists
Scientists working in virology labs that adhere to strict biosafety protocols may safely handle dangerous viruses. “Risk assessment” refers to the practice of identifying and evaluating potential dangers, threats, and other relevant considerations before making any decisions about how to proceed. A risk assessment is a need when determining the level of biosafety required in a lab in order to establish the potential level of hazard posed by a certain organism. Biosafety level (BSL)-1, BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 labs were classified based on their construction, design characteristics, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), containment facilities, practices, and operating procedures. The term “biosafety levels” refers to these different degrees of protection. A BSL-3 facility should be used for any research involving the SARS CoV-2 virus reproduction, according to the WHO, whereas a BSL-2 facility should be used for non-propagative activity (WHO, 2021). If you want to learn about Biological Safety Cabinets, you can visit here