Biological, chemical, animal and plant pathology laboratories use primary and secondary engineering controls to contain pathogens or reduce cross contamination.

Hospital surgery rooms, airborne infection isolation rooms, and other specialty environments should be tested on a regular basis to ensure proper performance and safety. 

Regulatory Guidance / Test Methods: 

Test requirements depend upon the type of engineering controls employed and safety conditions required.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration may address specific re-test frequency for regular testing of ventilated cabinets and primary engineering controls.  Primary engineering controls should be performance tested when equipment is relocated and on a quarterly, semiannually, or annually basis depending upon the application.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides specific guidance on engineering control performance when using HEPA filters, room air changes, room pressurization and other steps to control airborne contaminants.

Class II Biological Safety Cabinet certification test methods include NSF/ANSI Standard 49 or manufacturer specifications.  

Class I Biological Safety Cabinet containment device tests are to manufacturer specifications.

Laminar Air Flow Workbench test methods include IEST-RP-CC002, 0034, and ISO 14644-1 or manufacturer specifications depending upon user needs. 

Chemical Fume Hood common testing is to measure the hood’s face inflow velocity and visual smoke tests to verify cross draft control.  The fume hood owner should establish what the minimum face inflow velocity acceptance level is based upon their risk assessment. 

Isolation room testing of HEPA filter performance, room air changes, and room pressure differential.  Surgery room testing of HEPA filter performance and total airborne particle counts.   

Decontamination and Repair:

Biological decontamination services are available for Class II biological safety cabinets.

Repairs including filter and part replacement are available for biological safety cabinets, laminar air flow workbenches, Class I containment equipment and other HEPA filtered devices.