A laminar flow cabin is a laboratory equipment that provides an area delimited by easy-to-clean surfaces and disinfect with a filtered air flow through prefilters, which are responsible for retaining the largest particles that are present in the air, and by HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate AIR), which are high efficiency filters capable of retaining particles up to 0.3 μm with a minimum efficiency of 99.97% providing clean and constant air at a speed of 0.3 to 0, 5 meters per second .. That is, this type of equipment is employed in processes where the contamination control is needed.
In other words, we can say that a laminar flow bell, creates a free environment of particles, taking air through a filtration system and ejecting it through the work surface by means of a stream of laminar or unidirectional air.
That is why laminar flow booths are used for microbiological control procedures; packaging processes, sterile filling; But they should not be used when working with strains of polluting biological agents.
The laminar flow cabin is sealed on the sides and maintained under constant positive pressure to avoid infiltration of contaminated air from the environment. She generates “air barriers”, allowing the air to flow at a constant speed in a single direction something that is also known as a laminar air flow.
How does a laminar flow hoods work?
Laminar flow hoods maintain the recirculation of a clean air in the environment where they are found; Renewing continuously the air. They take it from their surroundings; They filter it and return it to the environment with an extra stage of absolute filtration, and this process is constant.
In laminar flow booths, the air outlet speed, constantly, continues and homogeneous distribution through HEPA filters, allows to move the particles generated in the work area causing a sweeping effect out of that zone.
General considerations for working in Laminar Flow Cabins
- These equipment must be placed in quarters, free of air currents, and restricted access. There is usually a previous locker room where the staff is placed the robe and other garments.
- The staff that will work in the hoods should wear clean clothes. Long sleeve robes are recommended with closed fists, hats and covers. Depending on the task to perform, the use of gloves may be required (without talc). In other cases, the use of sterile special uniforms is required.
- Unidirectional air flow can be disturbed by air currents caused by sudden movements made inside, by walking rapidly in front of it or by teams that may produce them, for which it is recommended not to introduce and draw their hands during the realization of work And move them slowly inside.
What should you do when working in a laminar flow cabin?
- Make a list of all the materials that will be required to perform the work.
- Disinfect the work surface using a cloth moistened with 70% alcohol starting from the back to the back, repeating the process with overlapping movements.
- Place all materials in the order in which they will be used.
- Turn on the hoods or cabinet for at least 30 minutes before starting to work.
- Before entering the area where the hoods or cabinet is located, wash hands and forearms with a soap that possesses antimicrobial activity. Dry them with cloths that release a low number of particles.
- Remove all equipment materials at the end of work, disinfect with
Alcohol to 70% in the manner indicated above.
- Leave the hoods on at least 15 minutes so that possible contaminants can be eliminated from the work area.