HomeLab & Science NewsArticlesClass II, Type C1 makes Biosafety Cabinet selection easy

Class II, Type C1 makes Biosafety Cabinet selection easy

Brian Garrett 2013By Brian Garrett, LEED Green Associate, Product Manager
On Thursday, November 27, 2014
In Articles

Any life science employee working in a microbiology lab will tell you how difficult and confusing it can be to select the appropriate bioligical safety cabinet (BSC) for their laboratory. Is a Class II the right choice, or a Class I? What are the differences between Type A2 and Type B2 biosafety cabinets? Are the chemicals I'll use hazardous enough to require a B2? Will I need a canopy connection on a Type A2 cabinet for my processes? Can my A2 to be converted to a B2 (or vice versa)? The questions are endless.

No other BSC has ever answered as many quandries, addressed so many shortcomings, or made selecting the right Class II BSC so simple as the Class II, Type C1. Innovative airflow channeling, intelligent programming and safety driven safety design endow the Type C1 with the both safety of a Type B Biosafety Cabinet and the flexibility of a Type A. What's more, it can be converted from Type B to Type A mode or back again with just three small steps.

Safer than a Type B:

All Class II BSCs provide the same level of protection from hazardous aerosols, droplets or particles. Type B Biosafety Cabinets surpass the safety of Type A cabinets for handling chemical vapors, due to their single pass airflow pattern. Type B cabinets are also recommended when handling powders or radionuclides because they can be fitted with Bag In/Bag Out (BIBO) HEPA filters. The Type C1 also utilizes a single pass airflow design in the area of the work surface called the chemical zone.

When operating connected to its remote exhaust system, the Type C1 in Type B mode and a Type B cabinet are very similar, but one difference is significant. When an exhaust system fails, a Type B must engage its interlock and shut the cabinet down–becoming a dead air enclosure. Type C1 cabinets use intelligent programming and sensor technology to recognize an exhaust system failure, so their internal exhaust blower is used to maintain safe airflow through the cabinet for up to five minutes after an exhaust failure.

This programmable form of active protection alerts the BSC operator to the exhaust failure and provides a countdown for full BSC shut down–keeping the user safe all the while. This allows the operator time to safely and controllably secure assets, and ready themselves to leave the cabinet without danger.

More flexible than a Type A:

Though incapable of handling the hazardous chemical applications reserved for Type B BSCs, Type A cabinets are much more laboratory friendly. In a recirculating mode, they can placed on mobile stands allowing for movement required by today’s modular lab designs. When ducted through a thimble or canopy connection, a Type A cabinet has much lower exhaust requirements and can often be installed into existing laboratory exhaust networks. Type B BSCs, however, require their own dedicated exhaust system per cabinet; once installed a Type B BSC is a slave to its mechanical system. The Omni-Flex™ design of the Type C1 allows it to easily alternate between Type A and Type B modes as the laboratory needs change.

Savings of a Type A:

Along with the Type B BSC’s dedicated exhaust system requirement, they also have high vacuum and volumetric air rate requirements. This makes them expensive to own and operate. In fact, a Type B2 BSC costs twice that of a Type A2, a Type B1 or the Type C1 to own and operate due to its high airflow demands. A Class II Type B1 and the Type C1 will require comparable airflow requirements, yet the C1 can be disconnected from its ductwork and save the lab the precious air and energy it takes to heat and air condition the air that a B will always require.

Bridging the Gaps:

The Class II, Type C1 provides enhanced safety over all modern and current Class II BSC Types, while exhibiting unmatched flexibility. When combined, these advantages offer greater energy and budgetary savings over the life of the cabinet. Since this one BSC, the Class II, Type C1, can do everything a Type A or a Type B is capable of, it saves money, it's safer, it's more energy efficient, and it's more flexible… the choice of which Class II Cabinet is right for you is a no-brainer.

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