Fume hoods get rid of vapors from any reactions or reagents lab workers may be using. But if you don’t use the hood properly, you won’t get the full safety benefits of this important piece of equipment and you could be exposed to the harmful fumes you’re dealing with. These five points are good to keep in mind when working with a fume hood:

  • To improve how well fumes are taken up and away, put your reactions or equipment as far back in the fume hood as you possibly can.
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  • Turn the unit’s light on by using the switch near the electrical outlets on the outside panel.
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  • The safety shield or glass sash of the hood automatically drops to the right height for proper operation. Don’t lift the sash above this height unless it’s to put materials in or take them out of the hood. You should also keep the shield between the inside of the hood and your body. Lower the sash only if the height of the automatic stop is too high to protect your body and face. This may be common sense, but you should never climb inside the fume hood or stick your head inside it.
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  • If a splash occurs, wipe the glass of the fume hood clean and be sure to clean up any spills right away.
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  • Lower the safety shield to the height shown by the sticker on the side once you’re done working with the fume hood.