New BSC Manual

Comprehensive Containment Equipment Manual Released

As we reflect on the needs of our research community and recognize that we needed a comprehensive manual describing containment equipment. We are excited to be releasing our newest document: the UW–Madison Manual for Biosafety Cabinets, Animal Transfer Stations, and Clean Air Devices!

Laboratories frequently work with their materials in a variety of ways — containment equipment such as chemical fume hoods, biological safety cabinets (BSC), animal transfer stations (ATS), and clean air devices (CAD) are used in research to provide protection.

Types of Protection

There are three basic types of protection:

  • Personal protection is the protection of the people working in the laboratory.
  • Product protection is the protection of the product or experiment.
  • Environmental protection is the protection of the environment outside of the laboratory.

Directional air flow, air curtains, and HEPA filtration are used to provide protection. Directional air flow into BSCs and fume hoods and an air curtain at the sash contain contaminated air inside the units; affording personal protection. Whereas HEPA filtration of laminar flowing supply air offers product protection, HEPA filtration of exhausted air offers environmental protection.

Determining Which Containment Equipment to Use

Determining which type of equipment to use depends on:

  1. the materials (e.g. chemicals, biologicals) handled
  2. the type of protection (i.e. personal, product, environment) needed.

Be sure you understand the differences between chemical fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, animal transfer stations, and clean air devices.

We are excited to bring this BSC Manual to our UW–Madison research community! It is our hope that providing the in-depth information on containment equipment common for labs will increase understanding of these types of equipment.

The University of Wisconsin Office of Biological Safety is a proud member of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA). Together we celebrate Biosafety & Biosecurity Month, October 15 – November 15, 2021! During this time, we are sharing updates and timely information with you and your lab.

Learn more on the Biosafety Month web page.