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Environmental Health and Safety

Chemical Fume Hood

A chemical fume hood is an essential engineering control designed to contain, capture and eliminate hazardous chemical fumes, aerosols or particulates away from the user’s breathing zone. Proper use of a properly functioning fume hood is required for protection against exposure to many hazardous chemicals used in the laboratory. Follow important guidelines to ensure safe use of fume hoods [pdf].

New fume hood installations are tested by a third party using ASHRAE 110 standard for testing performance of laboratory fume hoods. EH&S performs yearly testing of face velocity and certifies fume hoods that meet the required face velocity, normally between 80-120 linear feet per minute.

Indications your chemical fume hood is/or may be malfunctioning:

  • fume hood is sounding an alarm
  • there is very low or no draft passing across the area below the sash opening (you can test this by holding a kimwipe or any thin tissue paper just below the sash)
  • you don’t hear the motor running
  • there is power outage in the building

If you suspect that your lab fume hood is malfunctioning, stop using the fume hood immediately , close the sash, and post a notice of “FUME HOOD OUT OF SERVICE UNTIL REPAIRED”.

  • Call Department of Facilities 803-777-9675 to request repair.
  • Complete and post on the fume hood the repair clearance form [pdf].
  • Once repair is completed, call EH&S 803-777-7650 to have the fume hood re-certified.

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