3 Takeaways from the 2016 NSF/ANSI Standard 49 update

NSF ANSI Standard 49 BSC airflow graphic update

(Defining the Class II Type C1)

In March of 2017, the National Sanitation Foundation released the 2016 update to NSF/ANSI Standard 49 (NSF 49). If you own, manage or operate a laboratory with biosafety cabinets (BSCs), here are three major ways the new standard impacts your operations.

  1. Changes to how your BSC(s) can be decontaminated for service or between scopes of study – After considerable debate, Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) has been added as a new approved methodology; joining Chlorine Dioxide (CD) and formaldehyde applications. The addition of a third method increases your options and flexibility when working with a certification agent. VHP has long been used in space decontaminations, but was never an approved process for BSCs.
  2. Public open access to Annex E – This informative section of the standard was released to the public for free download in 2014; however, its scope left a lot of unanswered questions. The 2016 update looked to provide more useful information to BSC operators, how to select a BSC, how to use a BSC, where to locate a BSC within the laboratory as well as other recommendations, tips and hints.
  3. A newly designated and defined type of Class II BSC – While Labconco’s Purifier® Axiom® has been available since late 2014 and was the primary motivator for this change, it wasn’t until the release of this update that NSF 49 has formally recognized, designated and defined what a C1 actually is. The addition and validation of this new form of Class II BSC will forever change how microbiology labs and compounding pharmacies handle nuisance and hazardous usage of chemistry in their sterile procedures.

For more detailed information on the 2016 NSF Standard 49 update, see the Laboratory Equipment article, "NSF/ANSI 49 Updates: What the Biosafety Industry Needs to Know" by Jessica Burdg.

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