CDC/NIH Guidelines require the use of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for vacuum systems in Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) and above laboratories to protect from potential contamination. Additionally, EHS requires the use of HEPA filters for BSL1 laboratories to prevent contamination of the house vacuum lines and to protect the maintenance personnel that routinely work on these lines. Filters are replaced as needed. Liquid disinfectant traps are also required.
(Above) One method to protect a house vacuum system during aspiration of fluids is shown. The left suction flask (A) is used to collect the contaminated fluids into a suitable decontamination solution; the right flask serves as a fluid overflow collection vessel. An in-line HEPA filter (C) is used to protect the vacuum system (D) from aerosolized microorganisms.