8.9.1 Spills Inside a Biological Safety Cabinet


Cleanup materials should be kept in the cabinet so they are available when a spill occurs. 


  • Do not remove anything from the cabinet, including your hands, to prevent dispersion outside the cabinet.
  • Continue to operate the cabinet to clear the air of contaminants.
  • While wearing gloves, use a clean cloth and appropriate disinfectant solution (most commonly used: freshly-prepared 10% dilution of household bleach) to:
  1. Clean up the spill;
  2. Wash interior surfaces of the cabinet, including walls and work surfaces;
  3. Wipe down any equipment contained within the cabinet; and
  4. In moderate to high-risk spills, flood catch-basins.
  • Prevent the generation and escape of aerosols and contaminants from the cabinet during decontamination by working cautiously to prevent splashing materials outside the cabinet.
  • Allow a 20 minute disinfectant contact period.
  • To prevent corrosion of the cabinet’s stainless steel surfaces, wipe disinfected surfaces with 70% alcohol to remove the bleach.
  • Put all cleanup materials in a biohazard bag (before removing from the area) and autoclave.
  • Wash hands and any exposed skin with soap and water.
  • Allow the cabinet to run for at least 10 minutes following cleanup prior to using again.