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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FUME HOODS AND BIOSAFETY CABINETS

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    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.

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    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. Biosifety 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 um in diameter and 99.99% of particles of greater or smaller size).

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