Difference Between Laminar Flow Hoods BSL Cabinets

With the many safety standards and protocols out there, it’s quite hard to differentiate between the many types of hoods that are available. Primarily, laminar flow hoods and biosafety cabinets are used in research facilities, but their usage is often misinterpreted and used interchangeably. 

It’s important to understand exactly how they work and what kind of work they are the most suitable for. Instead of the same, we at Kewaunee International have compiled a list of differences that could help you decide what type of hoods you need for your facilities.

Laminar Flow Hood Biosafety Cabinets
What is it used for? When a product placed on the worksurface needs protection When the personnel & environment need to be protected from the product
  • Horizontal Laminar Hood – Best for those that cause minimal turbulence 
  • Vertical Laminar Hood – Best for those that require large space & can cause turbulence
  • Class I – Personnel Protection
  • Class II – Personnel & Environment Protection
  • Class III – Personnel, Environment & Product Protection
What is the mechanism?
  • To protect the work inside, HEPA or ULFA filters are used
  • They prevent external contamination air from entering the hood
  • Airflow from inside is released within the room
  • It’s not necessary that contaminated air from outside is prevented
  • Inward flow (Operator safety), HEPA filtered air (Product Safety), Outward air is filtered (Environment Safety)
  • Vertical airflow only
Where is it used?
  • Unsuitable for chemical & biological hazards
  • Used in pharmaceutical, medical, manufacturing, and scientific research laboratories
  • Suitable for chemical & biological hazards
  • Used in medical & scientific research laboratories only

If you’d like more help with choosing your products, we’ve got a list of ventilated devices to choose from which can be found here.

Kewaunee, the global leader in total laboratory solutions, empowers organisations to achieve competitive advantage through safe, efficient, and contemporary laboratories. In existence since 1906, Kewaunee powers the laboratories for over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

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