Faster and safer safety cabinet fumigation

Published: 18-Feb-2011

Hydrogen peroxide system offers alternative to toxic formaldehyde fumigation of safety cabinets

New from isolator producer Skan AG is the Skanair DECOSIS fumigation system, which eliminates biosafety risks prior to the maintenance of microbiological safety cabinets and other biocontainment units.

An easier and faster alternative to formaldehyde fumigation, the Skanair DECOSIS is a mobile unit used directly in the lab, and connected to the safety cabinet via two tubes. It functions autonomously thanks to a control system and catalytic converter.

Because it uses hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a biocide, decomposition products are unproblematic, and maintenance work can subsequently be safely carried out on the decontaminated cabinet.

The unit can be used to decontaminate microbiological safety cabinets in advance of maintenance work, when changing job or location, in preparation for disposal, or in the event of breakdowns or accidents.

It can also be used to decontaminate incubators, air locks and small isolators.

The cabinet continues to run in reduced mode throughout the procedure. The trained maintenance technician enters the corresponding facility parameters at a control system display, together with the quantity of H2O2 defined on the basis of the Skanair DECOSIS validation.

The process starts at the touch of a button, and runs completely automatically: the internal ventilation unit maintains slight negative pressure and feeds H2O2 vapour through the front cover into the cabinet, continuously circulating it inside the cabinet to reach all contaminated areas. The exhaust air through the cabinet‘s HEPA filter is then fed back into the Skanair DECOSIS via the second tube to be recirculated.

The decontamination phase is followed by the flushing phase: any biocides in the exhaust air from the cabinet are removed inside the Skanair DECOSIS via a catalytic converter and a final HEPA filter. This air can then be released directly into the lab, without having to be extracted via the building exhaust air system.

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