Strategically designed engineering controls should be selected and employed, as appropriate, as the primary means of reducing occupational health risks. Specific engineering controls for potent compound handling include Isolator/Glovebox technology, wherein work processes are physically contained within an isolation chamber that an operator may access via glove ports.
Ventilated Balance Enclosures (VBEs) are useful in the reduction of occupational risks associated with the weighing and transfer of laboratory quantities of potentially hazardous powders. The effectiveness of these systems will also depend on the actual quantities of drug substance handled and also attention to methodical work practices by the scientist. This type of engineering control is designed to operate at a lower face velocity than traditional laboratory chemical hoods (eg. approximately 0.3 to 0.4 m/s, or 60 to 80 fpm). VBEs will also minimize the potential for powder dispersal within the laboratory.
Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are another type of specific engineering controls for potent compound handling, often employed for work processes requiring a clean air environment as well as containment of aerosols. These units can be suitable for a variety of laboratory operations, such as sample transfer, mixing and drying, dependent on the type of BSC.
LABORATORY CONTAINMENT EQUIPMENT DESIGN FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
There are various types of containment systems that can be used within the laboratory. In order to ensure that containment systems provide the necessary level of containment required, there are a number of basic design features that must be taken into account.
In addition to this there are also performance criteria to consider which will provide the user with a recognised level of control or containment.
The following section lists the various types of containment devices used within the pharmaceutical laboratory and indicates performance criteria, design features and recommended uses.
Read more about safety design aspects of pharmaceutical laboratories regarding the following areas: