Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

Biosafety Cabinet Decontamination Guidelines

  • Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) used with agents approved at BSL-1 containment (agents that are not known to cause disease in healthy adult humans; or of minimal potential hazard to the lab personnel and the environment), do not have to be decontaminated. A surface wipe-down of work surfaces with 70% ETOH is required. To request a Safety clearance, submit an equipment clearance request to the EHS Office, http://research.uthscsa.edu/safety/equip-clearance.shtml.
  • BSCs used with agents approved at BSL-2 containment (human blood, human cell lines, infectious agents, infected animals, viruses) are required to be decontaminated prior to repairs, filter replacements and BSC relocations.
  • BSC decontaminations are required prior to repairs, filter replacements, and relocations. A safer, more efficient, and effective method of decontamination uses a vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) system. This method is less disruptive (no overnight decontamination, and staff may continue to work in the lab without interruption) and much safer than the traditional formaldehyde gas decontamination method performed by Environmental Health & Safety.
  • VHP decontaminations may be scheduled with ENV Services, at a discounted price. Contact them at (210) 690-3368 to request a quote, or visit their website, http://www.envservices.com/index.asp, for more information.

  • Environmental Health and Safety may occasionally perform formaldehyde gas decontaminations under certain circumstances. However, for BSCs located in an open concept laboratory environment (i.e. STRF, GCCRI), formaldehyde gas decontaminations will not be performed.
  • For any additional questions, please contact Erica Rincon, in the Environmental Health & Safety Office, at (210) 567-2898.