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This European Standard specifies basic requirements for microbiological safety cabinets (MSCs) with respect to safety and hygiene. It sets the minimum performance criteria for safety cabinets for work with micro-organisms and specifies test procedures for microbiological safety cabinets with respect to protection of the worker and environment, product protection and cross contamination. Mechanical, electrical, chemical or radioactive safety precautions are not covered in the standard but are covered in BS EN 61010-1, BS EN 292-1 and BS EN 292-2.

This standard does not cover safety precautions for aspects not associated with the use of micro-organisms such as those covering mechanical and electrical hazards, which are covered in BS EN 61010-1, nor does it cover safety requirements regarding flammable gas and inert gases.

The major changes from the previous edition are:

  • the mandatory part of the standard includes a type test for operator protection; however, this is only optional at installation and is not specifically required at routine maintenance
  • other important items which were mandatory in BS 5726, such as airflows and dimensions, are included in EN 12469 only as informative annexes
  • the option of potassium iodide or bacterial challenge testing for operator protection remains, but the methods for bacterial testing have been brought into line with those specified by the National Sanitation Foundation (USA) in NAF 49 for Class II microbiological safety cabinets, and the results are expressed in absolute values rather than as a ratio
  • requirements for installation and commissioning remain open.

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