The safe working of a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) relies upon good controlled airflow and the HEPA filters in the cabinet. During operation the HEPA filters separate and capture 99.9995% of the dangerous biological air-borne materials such as bacteria and viruses.
However these filters are fragile and can easily be damaged if the cabinet is moved. Hence the need for a thorough HEPA filter test integrity test on all newly installed cabinets or when a cabinet is relocated within the laboratory facility.
Over the course of time, the HEPA filters will accumulate many different potentially dangerous viable particles including bacteria and viruses. When biological samples are tested in a laboratory, using a BSC for safety, no one can be sure what sorts of diseases are in the sample and therefore what sort of bacteria, viruses and parasites end up on the filters.
Contaminated HEPA filters MUST be handled as if they carry the most contagious of materials. In due course HEPA filters have to be to be changed because they become blocked or get damaged. Before the HEPA filter can be changed the whole safety cabinet needs to be professionally decontaminated by fumigation.
According to ANSI/NSF 49 regulations “BSCs must be decontaminated:
Masarat for Accreditation have all the necessary safety equipment and staff who have been trained in the USA, to a professional level, on how to under take decontamination .
Replacing a HEPA filter or accessing any contaminated part of a Biological Safety Cabinet without undertaking a professional fumigation decontamination as outlined by the ANSI/NSF49 will create a high Biohazard Risk in the cabinet, the laboratory and any rooms connected via the facilities HVAC system.