At AES Environmental, we understand the critical role of containment equipment in ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical operations. In our latest article, we delve into the nuanced comparison between cytotoxic drug safety cabinets (CDSCs) and pharmaceutical isolators. We’ll explore recent findings that highlight the benefits of CDSCs, examining aspects such as ease of cleaning, material transfer process, and operational training. Our focus is on guiding you towards making informed decisions in your pharmaceutical setting, balancing practicality, safety, and efficiency in handling cytotoxic drugs.

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Complex Cleaning and Maintenance: Discussing the contrast in cleaning and maintenance between pharmaceutical isolators and cytotoxic drug safety cabinets. Isolators, due to their enclosed design, present challenges in thorough cleaning and maintenance. The open design of Cytotoxic Drug Safety Cabinets allows for easier and more effective cleaning.

Material Transfer Process: The process of transferring materials in and out of containment systems is critical. Pharmaceutical isolators often require a complex, multistage process for material transfer. CDSC’s offer a simple and direct material transfer process, enhancing both the safety and efficiency of drug preparation.

Operational Training and Experience: The challenges of operating a system with greater complexity are felt by all. Isolators, while offering protection against external contamination, are more prone to microbial growth due to cleaning and material transfer challenges. A study cited shows a higher rate of microbial contamination in isolators compared to CDSCs.

Initial and Ongoing Costs of Operating an Isolator: Costs associated with pharmaceutical isolators are typically far greater than Cytotoxic Drug Safety Cabinets. Isolators, owing to their complex design, have higher initial and maintenance costs. In contrast, CDSCs, while maintaining safety standards, have a simpler design leading to lower initial and ongoing costs, making them a more cost-effective option for facilities with budget constraints.

View our range of Cytotoxic Drug Safety Cabinets

AES Environmental is excited to announce the capacity to provide AS1324 NATA testing for Air Filters within it’s laboratory based in Sydney, NSW. NATA is an independent testing organisation responsible for accrediting AS1324 test facilities in Australia. The Covid Pandemic highlighted the need for greater compliance and repeatability when testing air filtration products, Australia is once again raising that bar.

The specific scopes we are validated for include:

  1. Initial resistance (Pressure differential, AS1324.2 Section 2)
  2. Mass stabilisation (Gravimetric, AS1324.2 Section 3)
  3. Efficiency – Test dust No.1 (Photometric, AS1324.2 Section 4)
  4. Gravimetric – Test dust No.4 (Gravimetric, AS1324.2 Section 5)

NATA is an signatory to the ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) mutual recognition agreement (MRA). NATA is one of 113 accreditation bodies from over 117 economies to have signed the MRA. ILAC’s primary goals include developing and aligning accreditation practices for various bodies, recognizing accredited laboratories and providers globally, and advocating for accreditation acceptance among industry, governments, regulators, and consumers. About ILAC.

A truly Global Accreditation. For more information on Air Filter testing, check out our previous post here or connect.

With this accreditation, we are able to offer this service for local and International customers wishing to certify their Air filters to the Australian Standards

For more information on our scope of accreditation click here

At AES Environmental, we’re excited to share our recent success at the NSW Premier’s Export Awards. We’re honored to announce that we received the prestigious ECA Global Achievement Award, a testament to our unwavering dedication to the New South Wales export market and our relentless commitment to advancing as an engineering and manufacturing organization.

Our Biological Safety Cabinets and other Laminar Flow products have witnessed remarkable growth over the past year, expanding into new markets. We maintain a steadfast focus on continuous product development to propel Australian manufacturing to new heights..

Our vision extends beyond the export market. We’re fervently invested in bolstering Australian manufacturing, diversifying our product portfolio, and expanding our operational capability. A significant milestone in this endeavor was the recent accreditation of our AS 1324 test facility by NATA, signaling just the beginning of a planned investment in technical and manufacturing capabilities set to unfold in 2024 and beyond.

In the months to come, we’re set to launch an array of innovative products, including a groundbreaking HEPA module and an advanced Class II Biological Safety Cabinet, reinforcing our position as an industry leader. We firmly believe that Australia boasts a unique blend of manufacturing potential, a highly skilled workforce, and the relentless Aussie spirit. It is with great enthusiasm that we commit to further enhancing our manufacturing capabilities in Australia.

While our nominations at the NSW Premier’s Export Awards didn’t result in victory, we certainly relished a fantastic evening of celebration alongside our esteemed peers. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the businesses that clinched the honors, and eagerly anticipate our continued presence in the competition in 2024.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees, our loyal customers, and all those who have acknowledged our efforts and provided unwavering support on this remarkable journey. With your continued support, we’re poised to reach even greater heights in the field of engineering and manufacturing. Thank you for being part of this exciting adventure with AES Environmental.

We are thrilled to announce our latest milestone. Effective from 1st July 2023, we have successfully acquired the air filter business interests of AES Environmental (WA) Pty Ltd, continuing our drive to expand our Australian sales and manufacturing operations.

This strategic investment, coupled with our recent investments, expanding our manufacturing capabilities and air filter test rigs, strengthens our position in the Australian market.

We extend a warm welcome to the employees of AES Environmental (WA), assuring them of continuity and stability within our growing business. Customers and Suppliers will be notified separately about any changes to payment and banking arrangements.

AMCCS takes pride in licensing iconic Australian filter brands, including Clyde-Apac (1923), Vokes (1939), and Email Air Handling (1958), and our commitment to quality is reinforced by our retained air filter test rigs in our IEC 17025 laboratory in NSW.

To learn more about our company, products, and capabilities, please visit our website at For media inquiries, kindly contact us at, and for supplier-related queries, please reach out to

Original press release

Concerns regarding the status of AS 1324.2:2003 as a test standard for air filter efficiency have been addressed. The recent edition of the ABCB handbook ‘Indoor Air Quality Verification Methods’ confirms that AS 1324.2:2003 remains relevant and applicable for Performance Solutions and Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solutions, for the purposes of the NCC (National Construction Code). The handbook provides guidance for designers and installers, listing AS 1324.2:2003 as one of the suitable test standards for air filter efficiency. For DTS Solutions, AS 1324.2:2003 is the only applicable test standard.

The updated handbook is available on the ABCB website.

#AirQuality #Standards #Ventilation

AES Environmental is investing in clean air. Partnering with an education facility and an investment of over half a million dollars, AES is constructing the next generation of ISO 16890 Test rig facilities for use in the Australian and overseas markets. The AES rig will be ILAC accredited ISO 16890 air filter test rig to complement its existing AS 1324 and AS 4260 test rigs, adding to it’s capabilities to provide air filtration qualification services.

AES considers it important for Australian industry to retain AS 1324, for non-stationary HVAC applications and regional areas of Australia that experience heavier concentrations of dust particles such as bush fires etc. AES and its partners consider the retention of Australian capability to test air filters will remain of crucial importance to the HVAC air conditioning when applied into the building construction tender market. This will ensure the product used in the market is safe to use, meets the required standards and does what it says it does, even if that product is imported to the county.

AES has continued to invest in its engineering division, with the latest round of funding representing a significant investment in the business on the back of a strong belief that clean air is crucial in todays environment. 

We’re getting smaller… but in a good way!

Introducing the new Ultrasafe 60 series. Shrinking the Ultrasafe Class II BSC series enables users to locate a Class II BSC within a spatially challenging area, this includes places like mobile laboratories, already crowded labs, rapid deployment overseas, developing nations and teaching labs.

Shrinking the Ultrasafe was not as straightforward as downsizing the existing Ultrasafe 90. The Ultrasafe 60 consists of new fans and a new window and air barrier arrangement, it maintains total compliance with AS 2252.2 and other internationally recognised standards and it offers a quiet performance of less than 65db. The filters within the unit are AES Environmental deep bed HEPA’s which makes it a unique solution as the AES Deep Bed range offer extremely long service life and great balance or laminar performance.

Contact us for further information on the Ultrasafe 60 range

IMAGE 1: Above is a member of the engineering team loading a series of Australian manufactured disposable filter products, for in-house evaluation.


AES Environmental: Filter Testing Capabilities to AS 1324 and other methods below

In the late 1960’s AES Environmental established its first filtration N.A.T.A test facility as Vokes Australia, in Rockdale, NSW.
Then in 1973 AES Environmental became a founding member of the first Australian Standard AS1132.1: Methods of test for determining properties of air filters. This standard is today referred to as AS1324.1.
Following the acquisition of Email Air Handling in 1997, the original test centre was upgraded, and provided for research to one of Australia leading Universities. AES meanwhile moved their Clyde-Apac rig from SA to NSW in 2005.

A decision was made to follow suit with most other global filter manufacturers in moving towards in-house validation rather than continue with third-party NATA accreditation. Covid has however placed renewed awareness on air filtration and filter testing efficiency, with a focus on independent N.A.T.A. accredited certification. AES Environmental have successfully incorporated into its AS1324 test rig facility an ability to test products to meet other standards for industrial enclosure applications and other requirements.
One such test was a request from a global consortium to conduct filter and pressure containment testing in extreme and normal operational circumstances. An actual assimilation of the workspace environment which the new product would encounter had to be created. This workspace had to replicate the operational environment. Following completion of testing, the product had to be “fit for purpose” and demonstrate use over many years. A filter breakthrough contamination factor was established when dust commenced shedding particles from the filter.

The multi-billion dollar contract included a high percentage of Australian manufacturing content. To proceed the product and its filtration devices needed to meet a high Mil-STD specification. The test plan took over six months to prepare including actual testing and report detailing. This included compiling the test data from various dust sampling and temperature ports, which took a further four weeks to compile.

This test had only been completed in two overseas countries and due to international travel restrictions. The global consortium contacted AES Environmental at our South Western Sydney filter manufacturing facility, to review our capability in AS1324 air filter test methodology and if this could be applied to manage and complete the project within Australia.

To meet the stricter Australian workplace guidelines AES Environmental recommended changes to some of the test materials and installation set ups. These changes improved the products “test to real-life assimilation” as well as provide a safe work place environment. The test included laboratory screened dust samples sourced within Australia. Clarity on particle size range and critical gravimetric contamination could be controlled better between PM1, to PM10 and included heavier dust contamination up to 130 micron. This is essentially assimilated bush fire, wind and dust storm conditions. The material was dispensed into the test chamber at controlled intervals during the testing period. In between inspections, cataloguing and weighing would commence. Some testing was conducted at extreme temperatures, applying variable air volumes to better reflect real life human occupancy load situations. Almost all energy efficient air conditioning system managed through a BMS system apply a similar approach to variable air conditioned environments.

IMAGE 2: Before Dust Testing

IMAGE 3: After Dust Testing
IMAGE 4: Air Filter removed showing Dust

IMAGE 5: Light Dust residue after test cycles

IMAGE 6: Clean Air compartment with no wear or dust visible

Analysis of dust test results

Following test completion, analysis was conducted on equipment wear and filter performance durability, and efficiency capability.
The Filter ( image 4) was carefully removed and weighed following the test. A replacement set of filters were installed for each test criteria. The filter arrangement consisted of two efficiency stages F5 and F8 performance.

Assessment of the coil condition (Image 5) following the sequence of test cycles, revealed slight dust residue which defined dirt breakthrough from the filter discharging into the clean air chamber. This defines a filters anticipated life cycle period and determines the filter replacement maintenance frequency. Obtaining this critical information will enable users to manage energy consumption, and short/long term wear and tear on the air conditioning associated plant and equipment. There was no component failure during any of the test cycles or on completion of all testing. Some test procedures ran for periods of eight hours in high/low dust loads in both temperature and volume fluctuations.

Inside the clean air compartment (Image 6) following removal of the dirty filters. There was no visible wear or dust build up from the larger range of coarse particles 80-130 micron. The faint speckles of what was considered suspended impurities could be viewed settling as light dust on the floor of one compartment.

Data recording stations were established to monitor various areas of the product for sampling dust and measuring for contamination breakthrough.

Laboratory testing for filters remains an effective proposition for research purposes, however Covid has increased the awareness on the air within occupied building space. Laboratory tested filters won’t meet the expectations due to uncertainty. Some filters will discharge more fibres than they will stop, and if the filter sealing integrity is flawed then the filter efficiency remains irrelevant because air will always find the least point of resistance. AES Environmental can be contacted to discuss your air filter testing requirements for air and water applications. AES Environmental is N.A.T.A accredited in a number of testing professions and offers national and international certification including laboratory equipment, HEPA filtration, clean room to both Australian Standards and ISO requirements.

Contact AES Environmental on 1300 550 116 or visit the AES website to discuss you air filter testing requirements for air and water applications!