15 December 2016

Airborne Containment Solutions for Physical Containment Facilities

iStock-Ebola Research Laboratory

What are Physical Containment (PC) Facilities?

A physical containment (PC) facility is typically a negatively pressurised laboratory room or building where contaminants are controlled or exhausted.  Purpose-designed and strictly controlled, PC facilities are constructed  for the safe handling, testing and the containment of biological and micro biological organisms.

The prime objectives of PC facilities ensure protection of  the laboratory worker from accidental exposure, and protection of the environment from the accidental release of hazardous agents.

Typical substances or compounds that are confined in a containment facility include biological substances (viruses, bacteria), radioactive compounds (radioactive iodine, plutonium), carcinogenic substances (benzene, asbestos) and toxic compounds (nerve agents, pesticides).

Physical Containment Level 1 (PC 1) Physical Containment Level 2 (PC 2) Physical Containment Level 3 (PC 3) Physical Containment Level 4 (PC 4)
Lowest risk  Moderate risk  High risk Highest risk, lethal upon transmission
Student and undergraduate teaching laboratories Functioning commercial and postgraduate teaching laboratories Work with hazardous agents that pose a threat to health or outbreak Work with hazardous agents that pose a threat to health or outbreak with no control measures
Infection due to accidental exposure is curable Requires primary barrier in the form of appropriate safety equipment, HEPA air filtration system, as well as a significant degree of decontamination method Requires control measures and regulation. Containment facility is often separated from the main building and equipped with more accurate containment systems, including HEPA air filtration system Require strict containment practices and barriers. Isolated facility fitted with more high efficiency systems

 Containment Level Requirements for PC 3

  1. 250-micron mesh screen on incoming and outgoing ducts
  2. Single pass for HEPA air filtration system on all discharges
  3. HEPA filters on gauge lines
  4. Requirements for Bag In/Bag Out filtration systems may vary
  5. Controlled airflow patterns
  6. Annual testing to ensure pressure regimes, HEPA air filtration system integrity and device calibration

Containment Level Requirements for PC 4                         

  1. Use of Class III cabinets
  2. Incoming and outgoing air-showers with interlocked doors and set shower times
  3. Disinfectant showers for body suit type
  4. Decontamination areas
  5. Pass through or dunk tanks for items that can’t be decontaminated in the pressure sterilisers
  6. Full gaseous decontamination for liquid resistant and chemical sterilisers
  7. Bag In / Bag Out filtration systems

Airborne Containment Solutions for PC 3 and 4 Facilities

Airepure Australia offer the following airborne containment solutions for PC 3 and PC 4 rated laboratories:

Airepure Supply Air Insect Screen250 Micron Insect Screens

The 250 micron, 316 stainless steel mesh insect screen is designed following the OGTR Guidelines (Office of the Gene Technology Regulator), an independent statutory holder under the Australian Government Department of Health. The Insect Screen or Thrip Screen offers a protective barrier against insects that are going into or out of a controlled space.

Airepure BIBO Airborne Containment System

Containment Filtration Housings 

Fluid and Gasket Seal Bag In / Bag Out filter housings aid in the air filtration of toxic materials and potentially hazardous airborne particulates. In-place Efficiency Test Housings  enable testing to ASME N510 standards when there are space restrictions or when isolation of a leaking filter is required. Custom Engineered Filtration Systems can be made to provide protection against chemical, biological, and radioactive warfare agents.

isolation dampersIsolation Dampers

Bubble Tight Isolation Dampers are specifically designed to provide cost-effective isolation of filter banks with high volumes of air.

carbon absorbersHigh-efficiency Gas Adsorbers (HEGA) Filters 

HEGA filters aim to contain toxic gases in air filtration systems; these gas adsorbers collect gaseous contaminants from an airstream through adsorption.

CS_Terminal_HEPA_ModuleHigh-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters

Channel Seal HEPA Filter Ceiling Modules and Gasket Seal Terminal HEPA Filter Modules are designed to enable the replacement and testing of HEPA filters without disturbance to the module housing. Ceiling Suspension Type Room Side Replaceable HEPA Filter Modules and T-Bar Suspension Type Disposable Ducted HEPA Modules are also available.

Airepure Australia Pty Ltd 2016.


Airepure Australia
Ph: 1300 886 353

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