2022 Annual Report

7 An unused biosafety cabinet (BSC) from the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) brought a breath of fresh air to a microbiology laboratory that needed a functional BSC. ● BSCs keep the laboratory environment, personnel, and products safe. These cabinets are certified annually to ensure proper operation and integrity. ● This laboratory is where preparatory work for undergraduate microbiology teaching laboratory courses takes place. A certified BSC is critical to the microbiology teaching program. Catch up fast: The microbiology teaching program’s 40-year-old BSC failed certification, and repairs were expensive, while other needed modifications were impossible for the old model. ● A new HEPA filter alone has a $2,632 price tag. Factor in the other parts needed to bring the cabinet up to the current certification standards — fan motors, alarms, and structural element upgrades — and it quickly becomes a pricey operation. ● In November 2020, the professor contacted EH&S about a more economical solution to the laboratory’s BSC issue. Making connections: In November 2021, EH&S realized that the VDL had a BSC in relatively good condition. It only needed new HEPA filters to be certified and back in service. ● The VDL decided to purchase a new BSC and discard their old one through the EH&S Lab Equipment Disposal Process. ● EH&S completed an assessment and communicated with the microbiology laboratory personnel in Science Hall I to determine if the BSC from the VDL would fit the space — it did. ● After transporting the BSC from the VDL to Science Hall I, installing the new HEPA filters, and a third-party inspector certification, the BSC was ready for a new life. A Cost-effective Coincidence Check please: The purchase and installation of the new HEPA filters on the BSC cost a total of $3,000. That’s a good deal considering a new BSC would cost at least $10,000. ■ Researcher preparing samples in a biosafety cabinet (BSC).