Isolators, glove boxes, RABS, C-RABS: what are they and what are the differences?
In this article we try to shed light on the different containment systems for highly active substances
Glove boxes: To avoid contamination of the product, the environment or the operator
They are the simplest containment systems and serve to prevent contamination of the material to be manipulated, the surrounding environment and the operator.
• constructed in a transparent material (e.g. plexiglass)
• equipped with flanges and gloves that allow the manipulation avoiding direct contact with the product.
• they are not equipped with ventilation system
Insulators: for toxic material
A comprehensive family of solutions for handling toxic material that serve to protect the operator and the environment
• When you use the product that is toxic
• The isolator is to protect the operator and the environment
• Each product is characterized by a value of Operator Exposure Level (OEL), expressed in mg / m3; g / m3 or ng / m3
• The isolator operates at a lower pressure to the laboratory in which it is installed
• Using an accurate pressure control system, the insulator must ensure internal pressure lower than outside Dp = 50 ¸ 250 pascals
In the case where an accident occurs (loss, breakage of a glove, …) the system must be able to maintain the correct Dp, so as to avoid any possible leakage of toxic product (powder, liquid or gaseous).
• are barriers that restrict access to well-defined area
• are used to maintain a classified air stream (normally A, B or C) on a given area
• If you stop the air flow area is downgraded to the same level of the laboratory
• the air used is dispersed in the laboratory
• they cannot be sterilized with VHP
• not suitable with highly tossic substances. The airflow keeps the inside area of the RABS at a slightly higher pressure than the laboratory.
• It is used when the product to be used is toxic
• The containment cabin is designed to protect the operator and the environment ◦ each product is characterized by a value of Operator Exposure Level (OEL), expressed in mg / m3; g / m3 or ng / m3
• If the air flow stops, the protection is interrupted
• It is allowed the entry of air from the laboratory
• Is not permitted the escape of air from the cabin.