BSCs: Use of Open Flames

Current UMN construction codes prohibit the installation of natural gas lines to biological safety cabinets. Gas lines are not being removed from existing cabinets, but their use is not recommended per CDC guidelines. This is due, in part, to the risk of gas from leaks becoming concentrated because of air recirculation in the cabinet.

Small electric furnaces are available for decontaminating bacteriological loops and needles and are preferable to an open flame inside the BSC. Disposable sterile loops can also be used.

Shielded electric incinerators or hot bead sterilizers are good alternatives to open flames to sterilize surgical instruments, biological loops, and needles.