Class III biological safety cabinets provide an absolute level of safety that cannot be achieved with Class I and Class II cabinets. It is suitable for work with microbiological agents assigned to biosafety levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. It is often specified for work involving the most lethal biological hazards.
All Class III cabinets are usually made of welded metal construction and are designed to be gas tight and work is done through glove ports on the front of the cabinet. During routine operation, negative pressure is maintained relative to the ambient environment in the cabinet, giving the cabinets an additional fail safe mechanism if physical containment is compromised.
On all Class III cabinets, a supply of HEPA-filtered air provides product protection and prevents cross-contamination of samples while exhaust air is HEPA-filtered and combusted. Material is transferred to the cabinet using a through unit installed at the side of the work area.
The Class III cabinets usually vent air back to the laboratory; however, air can also be exhausted via a dedicated duct system to the external environment. When a special channel system is used, they are also suitable for working with toxic chemicals as an adjunct to microbiological processes.
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