Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 08:10:08 -0400
Reply-To: "Olinger, Patricia L" <patricia.l.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**PFIZER.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Olinger, Patricia L" <patricia.l.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**PFIZER.COM>
Subject: Re: Plumbing natural gas into BSC
Comments: To: Kerry Smith
Comments: cc: "Stefan Wagener (E-mail)"

CDC, Health Canada and the ABSA (American Biological Safety Association)
does not recommend that natural gas be plumbed into a BSC.

Years ago we all learned how to "flame" the top of a media bottle or flame a
loop to sterilize them.  It is not only not necessary but can cause issues
with the containment of the BSC by disrupting the air flow.  (Heat waves)

If the scientist is using good microbiological technique this should not be
an issue.  They will argue that they need it to sterilize their loops or
pipettes.  There are disposables but if that is cost prohibiting there are
also available "micro-incinerators" where there are heated glass beads which
the loop can be placed into to sterilize.  Also, most contamination of
cultures comes from poor technique, work practices and BSC set up.  Not
flaming issues.  There is a good video (free) available from the Howard Hugh
Medical Institute available that speaks to this.

Other resources would be the CDC booklet on BSCs, the CDC-BMBL and the
Health Canada Lab Biosafety Guidelines.  They are all available from the
ABSA website under resources -

There are also lab safety issues.  Most likely your scientist is still using
70% ethanol to wipe down everything.  First of all there are better
disinfectants available that are not flammable. The contact time before the
EtOH evaporates is not long and may not be providing the decontamination the
scientist is looking for.  The other issue is pretty obvious....  EtOH and a
flame.  Not a good thing.

Patty Olinger, RBP
Council Member - American Biological Safety Association
Pfizer, PGRD/AH Kalamazoo - Associate Director Safety
Michigan Labs - Biosafety Officer
Pfizer, Inc
301 Henrietta St.  MS. 0216-126-732
Kalamazoo,  MI  49001
269-833-7931 office, 269-720-1608 cell

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU]On Behalf Of
Kerry Smith
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2004 6:15 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Plumbing natural gas into BSC

A professor would like to plumb a natural gas line into a BSC(metal interior
surfaces).  I am awaiting information from the manufacturer.  In the
meantime, maybe someone on the list has already dealt with this.  Does
anyone have any experience with this issue.  The hood interior looks fine,
but maybe there is some unforeseen issue?  Thanks

Kerry J. Smith, CIH
Industrial Hygiene Officer
Risk Management & Safety Department
Web Address

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.