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The Difference Between Fume Hoods and Biosafety Cabinets

Views: 15     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-03-04      Origin: Site

Both chemical fume hoods and biosafety cabinets are specialized types of laboratory equipment. While chemical fume hoods and biosafety cabinets look similar and both protect laboratory workers from laboratory hazards - their purpose, function, and operation differ significantly.


A chemical fume hood is designed to remove chemical fumes and aerosols from the work area while a biosafety cabinet is designed to provide both a clean work environment and protection for employees who create aerosols when working with infectious agents or toxins.


A chemical fume hood protects the user while a biosafety cabinet protects the user, the environment, and the material. Biosafety cabinets have high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters while chemical fume hoods do not. The HEPA filter in the exhaust system of a biosafety cabinet will effectively trap all known infectious agents and ensure that only microbe-free exhaust air is discharged from the cabinet (i.e., 99.97% of particles 0.3 µm in diameter and 99.99% of particles of greater or smaller size).


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