A simple, cheap and readily available test system for biological safety cabinets is described. It depends on the containment of an aerosol of Bacillus subtilis spores generated in a BIRD micronebulizer and the measurement of air flows with an anemometer. The system was set up to survey new equipment but equally valuable results have been obtained from tests during use. New units were often badly installed and used equipment was poorly maintained. It is suggested that any department which has a need for a biological safety cabinet must be in a position to test its function.
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