Shipped May10, 2021


This paper challenge was sent to category A and C1 laboratories. The following scenario was presented to participants:

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are recognized to be important equipment in microbiology laboratories because working within the cabinet can reduce the risk of spreading microbial agents from the sample to workers/operators and the laboratory environment, as well as reducing the risk of accidentally contaminating samples.  Which of the following statements is/are TRUE, and consistent with the Canadian Biosafety Handbook, second edition, with respect to reducing the risk of contamination of the sample or worker/operator, while working with a Biological Safety Cabinet?

A. Ultraviolet light is a powerful tool that is highly effective for reducing all microbial pathogens that were missed by routine BSC decontamination procedures.

B. Products containing bleach must not be used in decontamination of BSCs because they will cause irreparable damage.

C. Waste materials must always be immediately removed from the interior of the BSCs while working because they represent a risk to both specimens and the operators

D. Never use ethanol in a BSC because of its propensity to flash flame.

E. All of the above are correct

F. None of the above are correct.


  1. Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are essential tools in the microbiology cabinet that can protect both specimens that are being processed within the BSC and also the operator working on the specimens.
  2. Because specimens can be a source of contamination for BSCs, the BSC should routinely be cleaned especially after an accidental spill, and at the end of the work period 

Full critique (PDF)

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