The primary purpose of an MSC (Microbiological Safety Cabinet), BSC (Biological Safety Cabinet) or LAF bench, as the safety benches are called, is to act as a means of protecting the laboratory worker and the environment from pathogens. All air that is blown out is HEPA-filtered when it leaves the biosafety cabinet when harmful microorganisms have been removed.
Safety cabinets are used daily for hours, where in addition to the protection of users and test materials, the human design factors (ergonomics) of the work become increasingly important. This includes lowering the noise level (for a more comfortable working environment), a height-adjustable stand or chair (for optimized seating position), panoramic side windows (more light in the cabinet), angled front door (provides better seating position) and even light sources (better view of the cabinet) to improve working conditions.
LAF benches are divided into different categories depending on the work done in them, it is important that the safety cabinet meets the requirements set in your laboratory regarding the safety of the user, the product and the environment.
There are three different classes of safety benches: Class I, Class II and Class III.
A Class I Safety Bench protects the user and the environment and is used, among other things, for powder medicine handling and organic solvents.
A Class II BSC Safety Cabinet protects users, the environment and the product, and is used, for example, for microbiological work, medicine and cell work.
A Class III LAF bench provides the same protection as a Class II but is designed to work with infectious microorganisms used in Biosafety Risk Group 4 (eg Ebola), offering maximum protection for the environment, product and user. Also called isolator.
A Sterile bench is a safety bench with laminar flow (= LAF) where the quality of the air is HEPA-filtered (H14 filter) and the product is optimally protected. This type is used, for example, in the handling of sterile objects and in the electronics industry.