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Laboratory Safety & Environmental Programs

Laboratory Fume Hood Program

Purpose

  • To minimize exposure to airborne contaminants created by laboratory research activities.
  • To ensure the laboratory fume hoods are operating in accordance with University requirements.
  • To establish design criteria consistent with professionally recognized consensus standards and practices to provide the best level of protection and performance for new laboratory fume hoods installed at Rutgers University.

General Information
Laboratory fume hoods provide the primary control measure available in the laboratory to minimize exposure to toxic gases, vapors, mists, or fumes generated by the manipulation of chemicals during research activities. REHS measures fume hood face velocity annually to confirm proper operation, and notifies Facilities Maintenance of fume hoods with poor velocity for repair. The laboratory researchers, REHS, and Facilities must work together to ensure fume hoods operate and are used properly to provide adequate protection to the end user. The following summarizes the responsibilities for each in the Rutgers fume hood program.

 

Safety Guidelines for Laboratory Researchers

  • Use the fume hood with the sash as low as possible, at or below the indicated operating height. The fume hood is more effectively at the sash operating height and provides a physical barrier between you and the fume hood contents.
  • Do not store chemicals or equipment that are not in use within the fume hood, and do not place these items at the front edge of the hood or at the rear baffles (openings) of the hood. These practices can cause turbulence and a loss of containment within the hood.
  • If you must use large equipment to support your research activities within a hood, raise the equipment on blocks at least 2" above the work surface to ensure a more uniform flow into the hood and to minimize turbulence produced by this equipment.
  • Work at least 4" in from the hood sash opening, and keep the sash glass clean and free from visible obstructions.
  • Avoid sudden movements at the face of the hood. Walking briskly past the hood can disrupt air currents or create turbulence, pulling vapors out of the hood.
  • Do not use perchloric or hydrofluoric acid inside a fume hood unless the hood was specifically designed for its use. Due to the physical properties of these materials, special fume hoods are required for work with these materials.
  • If the hood is equipped with a flow indicating device (i.e., magnehelic gage, audible/visual alarm), confirm the hood operates properly before use.
  • Immediately report fume hood malfunctions to Facilities Maintenance for repair. Obey all signs and notices posted on the hood by the Facilities Maintenance staff that is repairing hoods.
  • Review the laboratory fume hood requirements for Special Use Hoods and design specifications whenever new uses of hoods are anticipated or when renovation requires the installation of new fume hoods.

 

Safety Guidelines for Facilities Maintenance

  • Notify the department administrator and/or lab users when repairs are planned for fume hoods.
  • Do not remove contents from inside the laboratory fume hood. If repairs are required inside the laboratory fume hood, have user remove its contents to provide access inside the hood.

 

Contacts

Overall Program Management - Tom Block, or call 848-445-2550
Campus Health Safety Specialists, or call 848-445-2550
 

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated:12-5-11
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