Fume hoods are a necessary piece of engineered equipment to protect users and occupants from possible chemical exposures. There are approximately 700 fume hoods on campus and outlying areas. These hoods are inspected and certified annually by EHS personnel. Fume hood function and hygiene are among the inspection criteria. A certification sticker is present if your fume hood is commissioned and part of the annual hood certification program. If your fume hood does not have the white certification sticker applied to the sash or if it is missing, please call EHS so that it may be included in the annual inspection and certification process. All new fume hood installations must be commissioned or certified by EHS before use. This program also recommends face velocity and unit specifications based upon testing, product data and operational standards.
March, Eric R
Safety & Industrial Hygiene Administrator
Antonelli, Francis A
Health & Safety Professional
General guidelines for fume hood users[+]
- Hazardous chemical processes must always be performed inside of the fume hood.
- The fume hood sash should be as low as possible during use. The sash provides the user protection for the head and upper torso. Lower the sash when the hood is not in use. Not only will better protection be afforded to the user, significant energy savings may be realized as well.
- Post and report all problematic or malfunctioning fume hoods to the building proctor and EHS immediately. Never use a hood that is in disrepair or that is not flowing properly.
User safety and instruction[+]
- Perform processes 6 inches inside the hood as measured from the sash plane.
- Place an airflow indicator at the bottom edge of the sash. A small piece of chem.-wipe or string will suffice. Movement should be towards the inside of the fume hood.
- All laboratory doors and windows must be kept shut at all times. Open doors and windows can affect supply and exhaust balance and will cause performance issues with the fume hood(s).
- Perchloric acid digestions and evaporations must be performed in a fume hood with wash down features/ functions. Routine use of the wash down system must be adhered to.
- Never allow materials (paper, foils, etc.) to be sucked up into the fume hood exhaust ducting.
- During a power failure or outage, lower the sash to within 2 inches of the fully closed position and discontinue activities until the power is restored and the fume hood is fully functional.
- Keep cup sink traps (if equipped) full of water so that they do not affect airflow. Never allow chemicals to enter cup sink/ sewer system.
- Do not “pack” the hood with items and equipment. All small equipment etc. must be elevated from the work surface at least 1 inch with a non-organic spacer.
- Keep fume hoods clean and hygienic. Chemical residue and a restricted work space may contribute to accidents or contaminated work. Unhygienic hoods will be reported and closed for use until they are cleaned.
- Always wear any additional PPE that may be required. Proper attire, gloves and eye protection are mandatory.