Biosafety Cabinets refers to special cabinets that contain safety features to prevent the exposure of personnel to potentially harmful or contaminated work surfaces and products. Most workplaces are required by law to have such a facility in order to protect people from dangerous work environments. The term biosafety is used to describe the safety precautions in place around the handling of dangerous materials or products. It is also used in the context of genetic engineering in biotechnological plants. It essentially deals with the protection of research workers and others from the possibility of contamination by infectious agents or disease-causing organisms. More details are explained here.
A biosafety cabinet -also known as particulate air, particulate ventilation cabinet is a sealed lab workspace designed to protect personnel from the risk of exposure to environmental hazards that require a defined level of environmental protection. The term biosafety comes from the word bios, which means life, and safety. The goal is to limit the risk to those who will be directly exposed, and the drawers and other features in the cabinet to allow for a controlled release of environmental air quality. This is different from a typical airtight, sealed cabinet, which limits exposure to air contaminants based on its ability to trap air pollutants on the interior surface of the cabinet.
There are several classifications of these cabinets, based on their specifications, construction and design characteristics. Class I, II and III cabinets are generally more expensive than their class II counterparts, but often cost less than a fully-equipped Class I and Class III cabinets with the same capabilities. There are a number of manufacturers offering high-quality, fully-ventilated cabinets.