What makes an effective chemical fume hood management program?


Chemical or laboratory fume hoods are used in thousands of labs throughout the country to improve the safety of workers handling hazardous chemicals and reduce personal exposure to chemicals. The Scientific Equipment & Furniture Association defines a laboratory fume hood in part as “a ventilated, enclosed work space intended to capture, contain, and exhaust fumes, vapors and particulate matter generated inside the enclosure.” A chemical fume hood operates on the relatively simple principle of drawing chemical vapors, fumes, etc. away from the work space within the hood and out through an exhaust system. A fume hood management program is needed to insure the effective performance of fume hoods. This program should address the selection, usage, maintenance and testing of the fume hoods. The need to systematically monitor and maintain the performance of fume hoods can often be overlooked. There are several major aspects to this type of program.