How To Select The Right Biosafety Cabinet


Multiple considerations come into whilst selecting a biosafety cabinet (BSC). The choice of the selected cabinet must be depending on the usage.  In this blog, let’s look at the key considerations for selecting the biosafety cabinet, covering:

  • intended use of the biosafety cabinet
  • the technical factors to remember, and
  • the safety factors to focus on.


Having understood the four levels of biosafety, let’s turn our focus on the biosafety cabinets. There are 3 different classes of BSCs available in the market.

Class 1 biosafety cabinet protects the personnel and the lab environment, but not the product inside.
Class 2 biosafety cabinets are partial barrier systems relying on movement of air to protect personnel, environment, and product. Class II is further divided into type A1 & A2, type B1 & B2, and type C1.

The most common models used are type A2 and B2 in the market. The key differences between Class II type A2 and type B2 biosafety cabinets are in the airflow pattern and the exhaust type.

Class 3 biosafety cabinets are normally used with high-risk BSL 4 agents. The class 3 BSC has a gas-tight enclosure, and agents are handled using integrated gloves. Thus, class 3 provides the maximum protection for personnel, product, and environment.


Besides the intended use and biosafety level, safety & efficiency of the biosafety cabinet must be given due consideration.

Testing standards

The testing standards applied to BSCs are a key criterion for selecting them. Internationally, two standards are considered the most reliable, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 49:2002 and the European Norm (EN) 12469. Although they are similar in terms of the testing processes, NSF 49:2002 is considered stringent compared to EN 12469.


The ergonomics of biosafety cabinet also plays an important role in safety. The ergonomics of the device must be comfortable for users to work for extended time.  User-friendly touch-screen control panels, ergonomic armrest, easy to clean surfaces, and low-noise operations are to be considered while choosing a biosafety cabinet.

Energy Efficiency

Another important, but often ignored, aspect is the energy efficiency of the cabinets. The BSCs must provide maximum protection at minimum energy consumption. Your biosafety cabinet should not be a strain on your utility costs.


Kewaunee’s NSF certified Class II A2 and B2 Interceptor biosafety cabinets are designed for safety, efficiency, and ergonomics. Download the brochure here or contact us for more details.

Rahul Sarkar is an experienced marketing professional with 10+ years of experience in varied industries. Rahul is passionate about applying digital technologies to transform organisations processes for efficiency. At Kewaunee, Rahul leads the digital marketing initiatives.

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