Benefits of High Containment Glove Boxes for Pharmaceuticals

If you’re using or considering a standard Class III Bio Safety Cabinet, you may find it more beneficial to use a High Containment Glove box.

The pharmaceutical industry deals with a lot of different chemicals and compounds. Personnel protection is of great concern for Class III biological applications. That’s why the Class III Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are designed with the highest containment capabilities – keeping people, products, and the environment safe.  Typical glove boxes are Class II cabinets, and not appropriate for this industry. However, High Containment Glove boxes (HCGs) are akin to Class III BSCs, but with added benefits.

Used in the pharm industry for years, HCGs are totally enclosed, HEPA filtered boxes with glove ports. They have been known to provide better environmental attributes than standard BSCs. Here are a few of the benefits by comparison:

  • Nothing in the glove box is re-contaminated. There is a once-through airflow requirement, so air doesn’t circulate.
  • The relative humidity is controlled. A nitrogen or argon purged environment provides less than 1% humidity at atmosphere or a slight negative pressure.
  • Bacterium is better controlled. The purged environment creates less then 2-3% oxygen, which critical to controlling some bacterium.
  • These glove boxes have a cross flow rather than a downward/upward flow like BSC cabinets. This creates less turbulence, making finite weighing activities possible.
  • The surfaces of these glove boxes have better cleaning attributes because of passivation of the main chamber.
  • Decontamination can be accomplished with UV lighting.

Overall, the robust design of the HCG offers better control than BSCs for any bio hazardous application, and they typically cost less. They are a safe and efficient alternative to consider.

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