If you are planning on using a chemical fume hood, you must follow certain guidelines. Those guidelines are there to help you stay safe. If not used properly, it will not run efficiently.
They can only help keep you safe; they are limited in their ability to do so
Chemical fume hoodscan only do so much to keep you safe when working with chemicals. The other precautions you must take to protect yourself while using a chemical fume hood is to make sure you are wearing goggles, or safety glasses for eye protection. You should also wear gloves and a lab coat to protect yourself even more. The fume hood is not intended to protect your skin or your eyes. It’s main function is to remove potentially harmful fumes from your work area.
Make sure the fume hood is working correctly
Before you use a fume hood, you must make sure it’s working correctly. Not doing so could be disastrous. Like many pieces of safety equipment, it needs to be certified. It must be checked within the past year. If you find out the certification sticker on the fume hood is older than 1 year, you must contact the proper authorities to have it recertified. And, when using the fume hood, you must not make any modifications or changes in it. In doing this you could be putting yourself at great risk since it may not work the way it was intended.
Other ways to help make sure your fume hood works the way it was intended is to make sure there are no drafts from open doors or windows that could allow air that is to be removed by the fume hood to enter the air you are breathing. In addition, when working with the hood, avoid sudden or quick movements, so move slowly. Moving quickly could cause a draft and bring that contaminated air away from the fume hood and into your lab work area.
Adjust baffles when necessary
Sometimes it’s necessary to adjust the baffles on a fume hood if they have one. Baffles can be used to modify air flow depending on the type of work you’re doing. Adjust them when you need to optimize air flow.
Work with the lab fume hood in a safe manner
When you work with a lab fume hood you should always practice safety. Make sure you are working with chemicals at least 6″ inside the fume hood to make sure all contaminated air will be removed from your work area. If you have a spill inside your fume hood, don’t use it to evaporate the spill.
Some people use fume hoods to store chemicals. This is an unsafe practice. Only store chemicals in a properly designated storage area.
Lab fume hoods, like all safety equipment, will work properly when they are used in the right manner. They must be inspected, and they must be used in the manner for which they are intended to help keep you safe when using chemicals. Always wear protective clothing and eyewear for additional protection.