Biosafety Cabinet Certification


  • Biological safety cabinets must be certified annually, and after installation, relocation, or maintenance (CCR Title 8, Section 5154.2).
  • The University of California has negotiated a system-wide agreement with Technical Safety Services, Inc., outlining service expectations and pricing schedules: for 2024, the cost is $147.50 per cabinet, no travel costs. The current prices with TSS are here.
  • The Los Angeles branch serves UCSB and a field service coordinator may be reached at (562) 694-3626 or (424) 277-7607.
    • Calling is preferable to emailing
  • Have a purchase order number from Gateway Procurement, the cabinet serial number(s) and building and room locations at the ready.
  • Lead times vary; book any required services 1-2 months in advance.
  • The date that the cabinet was last certified may be found on the metal sticker on the front of the unit. 


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Biosafety Cabinet Use


  • The laminar airflow is based on the sash height and airflow through the front and back grills. For this reason, keep elbows, forearms, notes, equipment, etc., clear of the front and rear grills.
  • The intake air velocity past the sash at working height is only 100-150 linear feet per minute. It’s important to minimize foot traffic past the BSC when it’s in use; walking past a BSC or opening a nearby door is enough to disrupt the laminar air flow.
  • Only the materials and equipment required for the immediate work should be placed in the BSC.
  • Move your hands straight in and out when necessary. Place a waste container in the back to one side to reduce the number of times that you take your hands in and out
  • Work 4-6 inches inside the BSC where the laminar airflow is at its most uniform.
  • Divide the work space into clean and contaminated sides, and make sure that work flows from the clean area towards the contaminated area.
  • Liquid waste is aspirated or dispensed into full strength bleach, and diluted to 10% volume/volume. 
  • The vacuum line used for liquid waste must be protected with an inline HEPA filter and a secondary flask, in case the primary collection flask overflows.  
  • Large equipment or towers of pipet tip boxes can disrupt the downward laminar airflow, resulting in turbulence. Extra supplies should be stored outside the cabinet.
  • Wear a cuffed, liquid impervious lab coat while working at a biosafety cabinet. 
  • The biosafety cabinet sash shields your eyes and mucous membranes during work. Plan in advance for transferring and manipulating biological materials outside of the biosafety cabinet by staging safety glasses on a nearby cart. 
  • The best practice is to remove all supplies after use; this facilitates the disinfection of the interior.
  • Decontaminate the BSC before and after every use to prevent cross-contamination. One method is to use a 1:10 fresh bleach solution followed by a 70% ethanol rinse to avoid corrosion and achieve disinfection. 
  • Never place your head inside of a biosafety cabinet to reach surfaces; use a "Swiffer" or small mop to wipe down surfaces.

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biosafety cabinet schematic

From Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 6th edition, CDC and NIH

Biosafety Cabinet References



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