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Choosing The Best Laboratory Filtration Equipment For Your Needs.

When outfitting your laboratory with new equipment, it’s always a good idea to carefully consider what products will best address your needs both now and in the future. Choosing equipment that provides flexibility while also ensuring the essential needs of your application are met will give you the biggest return on investment.

Whether you are selecting equipment for a new lab or updating an existing lab, there are two things to remember from the start – whether you need ductless or ducted equipment and what level of protection your application demands.

Should I Choose Ductless or Ducted Lab Equipment?

While it may seem like the decision to choose ductless or ducted equipment comes down to your facility’s infrastructure alone, the choice also depends on your application. It’s true that ducted fume hoods can have a greater impact on facility HVAC demands as they remove conditioned air from the building. But if your application works with high volumes of chemicals or even a wide range of chemical families, going with a ducted option might be the best bet. While ducted fume hoods can be equipped with a filter, they primarily function by pulling hazardous fumes through the facility’s ductwork and exhausting them outside. Air Science Total Exhaust™ ducted fume hoods are designed to provide superior personnel protection from exposure to hazardous agents and toxic chemicals in a variety of applications.

Ductless fume hoods, on the other hand, use activated carbon filters to remove fumes from the air before recirculating it back into the lab. Since they don’t require use of ductwork, they are typically more flexible with their installation and portability. Filter options are available to accommodate chemicals and concentrations from a large number of chemical families.

What Level of Protection Does My Application Need?

Ductless Fume Hoods

Most ductless fume hoods protect the operator from chemical vapors generated on the work surface, not from outside contamination. If your process is susceptible to contamination from outside sources, isolators or laminar flow hoods are more appropriate choices.

Forensic Products

Air Science® offers a range of forensic products designed specifically for the unique needs of forensic labs. Our equipment suite includes everything from collection and transportation tools to storage and evidence-processing solutions. Whether you are working with sensitive evidence or dealing with potentially hazardous substances, our forensic products are the perfect solution for your laboratory needs. Need more information on selecting the best forensic laboratory products for you? Our visual guide to Forensic Equipment shows exactly where our forensic products fit within the chain of custody so you can select the equipment you need at a glance.

PCR Workstations

A PCR workstation is a specialized, vertical laminar flow cabinet, created specifically for use with PCR instruments. PCR laminar flow cabinets, or laminar flow hoods, help prevent cross-contamination that adversely affects samples.

Biosafety Cabinets

The primary purpose of Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) is to safeguard both the user and the surroundings from various types of biological substances. Class II Type A2 biosafety cabinets are equipped to manage agents of Biosafety Level 1-3. The Air Science Purair BIO offers protection from airborne particulates and biologicals for personnel, work surfaces, and the environment.

Laminar Flow Cabinets

A laminar flow hood is a specialized workstation that creates a sterile environment for tasks that require protection from particles. There are two types of laminar flow hoods, horizontal and vertical. Both types are designed to produce consistent airflow over the working area. They are intended for use with nonhazardous materials and protect items on the work zone from particulate contamination using laminar airflow. Air Science laminar flow hoods use the Multiplex™ Filtration System to sustain a contamination-free environment.

The Takeaway

Before choosing equipment, you need to evaluate your needs and define your goals. This way you can select the right equipment for the personnel, process, and working environment. Ductless fume hoods, forensic products, PCR workstations, biological safety cabinets and laminar flow hoods are designed to meet the needs of different situations. Choosing the right equipment for your needs ensures protection for the operator, process, and/or environment.

The Air Science® Laboratory Desk Reference Equipment Selection Guide shows you which filtration devices are best for specific applications to help keep your laboratory environment safe.