Safety Tip of the Week – Chemical Fume Hoods

A chemical fume hood is critical in a lab. A well-designed hood, when properly installed and maintained, offers a large degree of protection to the user, provided that it is used appropriately, and its limitations are understood.

When Using a Fume Hood:

  • Never allow your head to enter the plane of the hood opening;
    • For example, for vertical rising sashes, keep the sash below your face; for horizontal sliding sashes, keep the sash positioned in front of you and work around the side of the sash;
  • Use appropriate eye protection;
  • Be sure that nothing blocks the airflow through the baffles or through the baffle exhaust slots;
  • Elevate large equipment (e.g., a centrifuge) at least two inches off the base of the hood interior;
  • Keep all materials inside the hood at least six inches from the sash opening. When not working in the hood, close the sash;
  • Do not permanently store any chemicals inside the hood;
  • Promptly report any hood that is not functioning properly to your supervisor. The sash should be closed, and the hood “tagged” and taken out of service until repairs can be completed; and
  • When using extremely hazardous chemicals, understand your laboratory’s Emergency Action Plan in case of an emergency, such as when a power failure might occur.
Download flyer: STOTW_919_Chemical-Fume-Hoods

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_919_Chemical-Fume-Hoods_esp

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