Horizontal laminar flow clean air benches are inappropriate for use with any potentially biohazardous material including human source material (clinical specimens, blood, tissue, etc.), cell cultures, infectious agents, or infected animal tissue. Horizontal laminar flow clean air benches are also inappropriate for use with uninfected animals (lab animal allergy), hazardous chemicals and volatile radioisotopes. Work with these materials should be conducted in a Class II biological safety cabinet.
The CDC/NIH publication “Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of Biological Safety Cabinets" states:
‘Horizontal laminar flow clean air benches are not biological safety cabinets. They discharge HEPA-filtered air across the work surface and toward the user. These devices only provide product protection. They can be used for certain clean activities, such as the dust-free assembly of sterile equipment or electronic devices. These benches should never be used when handling cell culture materials or drug formulations, or when manipulating potentially infectious materials. The worker can be exposed to materials (including proteinaceous antigens) being manipulated on the clean bench, which may cause hypersensitivity. Horizontal laminar flow clean air benches should never be used as a substitute for a biological safety cabinet in research, biomedical or veterinary laboratories and/or applications.”
Click here to contact an EHRS Biosafety Officer, or call EHRS at 215-898-4453.