A cytotoxic safety cabinet is a necessity if the biological experiment involves cytotoxic drugs handling. Dispensing drugs in the biosafety cabinet can effectively prevent the drug from being contaminated by bacteria and particles during the preparation process, and also ensure the safety of the operator. Therefore, a correct selection of application categories and standardized use of biological safety cabinets are important links in controlling infection risk and should be included in the plan of laboratory risk management.

Cytotoxic Drugs Need-to-Know

Why are cytotoxic drugs hazardous?

Cytotoxic drugs refer to as antineoplastic, anticancer or cancer chemotherapy drugs, include a wide range of chemical compounds, which are extensively used to treat cancer and other physical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune disorders in medical equipment, laboratory and veterinary tests, as they kill tumour cells by interfering with cell division.

Cytotoxic Drug

It can be seen from the instructions of chemotherapy drugs that they have a destructive effect on the normal cells of patients, and pose a danger to medical staff, especially to dispensing physicians. 

They are used in a variety of settings including hospitals, specialist oncology units, hospices, care homes, charitable organisations, and domestic homes. They may also be used in veterinary clinics.

Negative side-effects of cytotoxic drugs on healthy cells during chemotherapy

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • White blood cells and/or red blood cells reduction
  • Cause cancer, mutation, reproductive toxicity (CMR)

Routes to accidental absorption or exposure to cytotoxic drugs

  • Mouth: through the digestive system
  • Aerosol: through the respiratory system
  • Skin: usually a wound
  • Mucosa: through oral or eye

The toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs on dialysis hematopoietic cells and gastrointestinal mucosal epithelial cells have become the main obstacles to limiting the dosage and inhibiting the efficacy. Since chemotherapy drug processing is pretty much a scaring part to us, effective and professional precautions are essential under exposure to cytotoxic drugs:

Precautions when handling cytotoxic drugs

  • Professional equipment (biological safety cabinet, cytotoxic safety cabinet)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Special devices (eg closed systems, pressure relief equipment)
  • Related professional knowledge training

While the most important element of precaution is strict adherence to good microbiological practices and techniques, appropriate laboratory design and safety equipment are very close second required for proper containment of microbiological hazards. The use of proper containment equipment helps minimize the exposure of laboratory personnel to infectious agents.

Premium Solutions: Class II  Cytotoxic Biosafety Cabinet 

Why choose cytotoxic safety cabinet ?

The cytotoxic safety cabinet is a partially enclosed ventilated cabinet that provides the same personnel, product and environment protection as Class II Biological Safety Cabinet, and is superior to conventional BSC in terms of cytotoxic drugs handling.

The manipulation and preparation of cytotoxic drugs require special procedures, which is performed in a strictly clean and safe environment. Since cytotoxic drugs are high-risk compounds, operators involved in drug analysis and preparation, and maintenance personnel who conduct filter replacement must be adequately protected. Unlike microbial contamination, these drug dust contaminations cannot be neutralized by ordinary disinfection methods such as formalin or hydrogen peroxide. That’s why the cytotoxic safety cabinet is designed specifically for cytotoxic drug experiments and operations.

Flow chart of choosing a BSC
Figure: Flow chart of factors involved in choosing a BSC

How does it work?

Biosafety Cabinet

Both the indoor air from the front work opening and the contaminated air from the workspace of the cabinet mix beneath the work surface and are exhausted into clean air through a HEPA filter located directly under the work tray. Subsequently, about 70% of the clean air is filtered by the downflow filter, forming an ultra-clean downflow air to protect the samples on the work surface. The remaining about 30% of the clean air is discharged out of the safety cabinet after being filtered by the exhaust filter. The secondary filtration design greatly improves the filtration efficiency and safety of the external exhausted air and the downflow air.

HFsafe CY series | Cytotoxic Safety Cabinet

At Heal Force, we know how important it is to offer a high level of protection to operator, sample and environment with advanced technology. With an extensive track record of safety, reliability and performance, HFsafe CY cabinets make ideal investments for a wide range of applications including work with infectious agents that require biosafety level 1, 2 or 3 containment.

Your Biosafety Concerns Our Solution: HFsafe CY series
Decontamination. Traditional Class II safety cabinets’air conducting channels, filters, fans are accumulatively contaminated, some of which like cytostatic substance can’t be neutralized by formalin or hydrogen peroxide Aerosols generated inside the work area are captured by the third stage filters preventing cytotoxic compounds to contaminate the interior of the cabinet
Filter lifespan. Conventional Class II B2 safety cabinets generate larger air volume for exhausting filters, causing shorter life span and higher running cost 1st V-Shaped HEPA filter is installed underneath the work plate to alleviate working burdens on supply and exhaust filters, extending the filer working life time.
Maintenance. The complicated filter change procedure does not protect personnel and the environment from cytotoxic substance contamination. Replacement of the HEPA filters thanks to the patented system is obtained without any risk of exposure to dangerous compounds both for the workers and the environment
External Ducting. An extra active carbon post filter is recommended if Class II A2 & B2 BSCs are used for hazardous operation. Dedicated extract duct generates high installation costs Aerosols generated inside the work area are retained by HEPA filter, so the filtration efficiency >99.999999997 % of 3 pm- better than ULPA filters. External ducting is not necessary
Installation limits. The installation process requires detailed guidance due to the large exhaust air volume for Class II B2 BSC. Leading to limited numbers of units in one room 70% recirculation and 30% exhaust airflow pattern inside the cabinet reduces the indoor air exchange rate. There are fewer quantity limits for installation
Energy consumption. The standard exhaust system for Class II B2 BSC will extract indoor air out, keeping the air conditioner working and causing high energy consumption. The overall running cost is high Features like self-induced EBM PAPST blower, large area V shaped HEPA filter, Low-vel ECO mode all contribute to low energy consumption, consequently lower air conditioning demands
Cleanliness. The supply filter provides ISO class 5 or class 3 laminar flow clean air to the work surface if the HEPA/ULPA filter is utilized.Three levels of filtration of the recirculated air exceeds the required air cleanliness for the preparation of parenteral drugs and also the safety of the environment

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