At Vivid Air, we aim to supply the highest quality clean air and laboratory equipment South Africa has to offer.

Laboratory Equipment South Africa

There are various types of clean air equipment, each one with their own purpose and application.

However, in this article, we discuss biohazard safety cabinets, classes 1 and 2 in order to distinguish between their applications and some of their specifications.

laboratory equipment south africa

What Does Biohazard Mean?

The word is a combination between the words “biological” (relating to living organisms) and hazard (a danger or risk).

In medical terms, biohazard is defined as: “an infectious agent, or part thereof, presenting a real or potential risk to the well-being of man, animals and / or plants, directly through infection or indirectly through disruption of the environment.

In simple terms, a biohazard is a risk to human health or the environment (or both) arising from any work which involves coming into contact with microorganisms.

What is a Biohazard Safety Cabinet?

It’s a well-ventilated enclosure which provides protection to the person who is using it. It also protects the product and the environment from potentially harmful airborne microorganisms.

Biohazard Cabinet Class 1 Specifications

Class 1 biohazard cabinets are used for any work that involves handling microorganisms which are not known to cause disease in healthy adults.

The following are acceptable for class 1 biohazard cabinets:

  • the lab does not need to be separate from the general passage ways or traffic in the building
  • Using standard microbiological practices and standard operating procedures, work is usually carried out on an open counter top
  • Specially designs containment equipment is not normally used, neither is it mandatory
  • Lab personnel are adequately and thoroughly trained in lab procedures while working under supervision of a scientist who is well-trained in microbiology
  • Provides environmental and personal protection from chemicals and powders

Because the inward flow of unfiltered air from the laboratory can carry microbial contaminants into the cabinet, the class 1 cabinet is not appropriate for handling research materials that are particularly vulnerable to airborne contamination.

Biohazard Cabinet Class 2 Specifications

Class 2 biohazard cabinets are used for applications which require the handling of agents which are moderately hazardous and associated with different human diseases from mild to severe.

Class 2 cabinets are different from class 1 in the following ways:

  • lab personnel have very specific training, qualifying them to handle pathogenic (disease causing) agents and are directly supervised buy a scientist.
  • Access to the lab is limited and controlled, especially when work is being carried out.
  • Extreme caution is taken when handling sharp objects which have been contaminated such as needles
  • Procedures which require the handling of infectious aerosols or where there is a risk for splashing, are carried out in biohazard cabinets or other forms of physical containment equipment.

3 Key Features of a Class 2 Biohazard Safety Cabinet

  • A front opening with carefully maintained continuous inward airflow.
  • HEPA-filtered, vertical, unidirectional airflow within the work area.
  • HEPA-filtered exhaust air to the room or the exhaust connected to an external extract system.

Vivid Air - Clean Air Equipment and Laboratory Equipment South Africa

We supply some of the highest quality laboratory equipment in South Africa including biohazard safety cabinets. For more information, please contact us.