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Biosafety Cabinets

Engineering controls are a significant tool for reduction of exposure to biological materials. Examples of engineering controls used in laboratories at Cornell may include dilution ventilation, local exhaust ventilation, biological safety cabinets, glove boxes, safety shields, and proper storage facilities.

The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires that "fume hoods and other protective equipment function properly and that specific measures are taken to ensure the proper and adequate performance of such equipment." Periodic inspection and maintenance of protective equipment is conducted by a variety of groups within and outside Cornell. Biosafety cabinets, in particular, need annual NSF/ANSI Standard 49 certification testing. Currently, this is conducted by an outside contractor. 

It is the responsibility of the laboratory to ensure certification and testing occur in a timely manner.


Training is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator. Training may be accomplished in a variety of methods and must be documented:

Procedure for Purchase of a Biosafety Cabinet:

  1. Contact EHS/Biosafety at with intent to purchase cabinet. Provide information on the scope of work (eg. Biomaterials and equipment)to be done and the location.
  2. EHS/Biosafety will schedule a time to visit the space and provide an assessment of suitability. Generally:
    • Biosafety cabinets may not be placed under ventilation.
    • Biosafety cabinets may not be placed opposite doorways or other openings into a room.
  3. Log in -- Take "Using e-SHOP" tutorial, if required.
  4. Search "Biological Safety Cabinet"
  5. Select the supplier and add it to the cart.

Procedure for Certification of a Biosafety Cabinet:

  1. Log in – Take "Using e-SHOP" tutorial, if required.
  2. Search "B&V Testing"
  3. Select "Biological Safety Cabinet" from the results list (the description is very long).
  4. Add to cart.
Biosafety cabinets must be certified upon installation, annually, and any time they are moved.

Disposal of Biosafety Cabinets

Laboratories are responsible for ensuring proper disposal of biosafety cabinets.

  1. Contact EHS/Biosafety at to provide an assessment of the required decontamination. After the assessment
  2. Log in – Take "Using e-SHOP" tutorial, if required.
  3. Depending on the assessment, search either
    • "Vaporized H2O2 Decon" or
    • "Formaldehyde Gas Decon"
  4. Select the appropriate choice, add to the cart.
  5. Surface decontaminate the BSC, including under the work surface.
  6. Ensure the vendor removes the filters and provides confirmation of decontamination to the laboratory representative.
  7. Contact Facilities Management at to request a pick-up for the filters and BSC.


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