Biological Safety Cabinets

A Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) serves as the primary means to protect the laboratory worker and the surrounding environment from pathogens. All exhaust air is HEPA-filtered as it exits the biosafety cabinet, removing harmful bacteria and viruses. BSCs are designed to provide personnel, environmental and product protection when appropriate practices and procedures are followed.

Certifications, Maintenance or Service

The Institutional Biosafety Committee – Biosafety Cabinets, Animal Transfer Stations, and Clean Air Devices Policy (IBC-POL-18) lists requirements for the certification, use, and maintenance of these containment equipment. Biological Safety Cabinets must be certified when initially purchased and installed. Annual certification is required unless it is waived annually by the Office of Biological Safety (OBS), which is considered on a case-by-case basis for low-risk activities.  Waived BSCs must be certified every three years.  Cabinets are labeled to indicate that they either were certified on a given date or that the equipment must not be used with infectious materials.

A BSC cannot be moved or disassembled without prior approval from OBS or EH&S – BSC Program. All BSCs must be either surface or gas decontaminated prior to being moved. A risk assessment performed by OBS will determine the type of decontamination is needed prior to the move. After being moved, all BSCs must be re-certified through the EH&S – BSC Program or through an EH&S approved vendor.

For questions regarding the IBC policy IBC-POL-018 or to request a certification waiver, please email OBS at

Use the following form to request certification, maintenance, or service:


Use Guidelines

Refer to the UW-Madison Manual For Biosafety Cabinets, Animal Transfer Stations, And Clean Air Devices for information regarding the types of containment equipment and their use.

BSC Shut-Down Guide

Please refer to Baker’s BSC Shut-Down Guide.

BSC Replacement Program

The Biosafety Cabinet Replacement Program is a program that started in 2016 to help labs purchase new BSCs at a discount of 60% off the price on a ‘first come-first serve’ basis for BSCs that are 15 years of age or older.

Purchase & Contract Info

For more information, please see the Institutional Biosafety Committee – Biosafety Cabinets, Animal Transfer Stations, and Clean Air Devices Policy.

15 Questions to ask before buying a Biological Safety Cabinet, Fume Hood, or Laminar Flow Hood. 

The University has a contract with Baker Company Inc. Information regarding this purchasing contract for BSCs can be found on the Purchasing Services website.

Additional Information



Tony McGrath
Biocontainment Program Manager
Phone: 608-445-5010

Call 608-262-1809 or email for service requests relating to: biological safety cabinets, animal and waste transfer stations, biohazard containment systems, clean benches, gas decontamination, and HEPA vacuum and filtration systems.