• Facility Support Services
  • Occupational Safety & Risk Management
  • Research Safety & Services
  • Ventilation Systems

    Ventilation systems for laboratories are normally designed to provide 6 – 12 air changes per hour at a slightly negative pressure relative to hallways and office space. It is important to keep lab doors and windows closed as much as possible for proper pressure balance and ventilation of the lab.

    Fume Hoods

    Chemical fume hoods are intended to remove vapors, gases, and dusts of toxic, flammable, corrosive or otherwise dangerous materials. It is important for lab staff to understand how the chemical fume hood in the lab functions.

    Proper Use of Fume Hoods

    With the sash lowered to the indicated level for proper airflow, laboratory fume hoods can also afford workers protection from such hazards as chemical splashes or sprays and fires. Sash heights are posted and updated annually on the EH&S sticker attached to each hood.

    If the hood’s low airflow alarm is sounding, the lab staff must immediately end their work in the hood, close all chemical containers and close the sash. Contact the appropriate maintenance department to have the ventilation system repaired. Do not ignore or disconnect any fume hood alarm.

    The use of heated or evaporating perchloric acid requires a specialty fume hood to avoid potentially explosive conditions. Do not use heated perchloric acid before consulting with and obtaining approval from EH&S.

    Fume Hood Decommissioning

    All projects including the removal of a chemical fume hood must be submitted to EH&S Building Codes Enforcement for plan review and permitting. This review will ensure that all relevant building and fire codes are addressed during the project.

    Work must not start until EH&S Laboratory Safety Program has received the decontamination form

    For more information access the Chemical Fume Hood Decommissioning Guide.