Engineering Controls

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs)

Biological safety cabinets are designed to contain aerosols generated during work with infectious material through the use of laminar airflow and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. Consult CDC/NIH Biosafety in the Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories for a discussion of the types and uses of biological safety cabinets.


Safety Equipment

Safety equipment includes items for personal protection such as gloves, coats, gowns, shoe covers, boots, respirators, face shields, safety glasses or goggles.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is often used in combination with biological safety cabinets and other devices which contain the biohazardous agents, animals or materials. When it is impractical to work in biological safety cabinets, personal protective equipment may form the primary barrier between personnel and infectious include certain animal studies, animal necropsy, agent production activities and activities relating to maintenance, service or support of the laboratory facility.

Other safety equipment such as safety centrifuge cups and safety blenders are enclosed containers designed to prevent aerosols from being released during centrifugation or homogenization of infectious material.
Containment controls such as biological safety cabinets, safety centrifuge cups and blenders must be used transmitted through the aerosol route of exposure.

A description of the effective use of biological safety cabinets and information on other safety equipment may be found in the “Recommended Work Practices” section of this appendix.

For more information on proper use and selection of a biological safety cabinet or other safety equipment contact Lab, Shop, Studio Safety Team ( 

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