One of the primary safety devices in laboratories where chemicals are used is the laboratory fume hood. It allows a researcher to work with—but not be exposed to— materials that create toxic fumes or particles when it is properly installed and maintained.
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Fume Hood
1. Can your lab go ductless? Ductless hoods are a viable solution for most routine laboratory applications.
2. What is the hood constructed from and how is it constructed? Will the chemicals you use attack, degrade or physically alter the material of the hood?
3. What types of safety controls are included in the base cost of the unit?
4. Has the manufacturer/distributor gone through a thorough application review process? Does the suggested filtration make sense?
5. How hard is installation? Will there be a future/potential need to move the hood after initial installation? Should the hood be portable?
6. What are the capital, installation and operational costs? From the lab manager’s perspective, capital costs are but a fraction of the overall budget.
Top ten features/factors survey respondents look for when buying a fume hood:
|Durability of product||97%|
|Performance of product||94%|
|Ease of use; ergonomic operation||93%|
|Safety and health features||92%|
|Low operating costs||91%|
|Low maintenance / easy to clean||91%|
|Value for price paid||89%|
|Total cost of ownership||86%|
|Service and support||86%|
Fume hood type(s) currently being used in readers’ labs:
|Conventional ducted fume hood||76%|
|Laminar flow hood||36%|
|Benchtop ductless fume hood||19%|
|Canopy ducted fume hood||18%|
|Variable air volume ducted fume hood||12%|
|Down flow workstation||7%|
|Portable ductless fume hood||6%|
Survey respondents are also using the following fume hood-related components:
|Base storage cabinet||48%|
|Fume extractor arms||10%|
|Transport support cart||8%|
Percentage of respondents who agree with the following fume hood safety statements:
|All lab fume hoods have been tested within the past year||90%|
|Workers using biohazards, toxins and regulated carcinogens have received the proper training||87%|
|Test labels are properly affixed to all fume hoods tested||87%|
|Storage in fume hoods is kept to a minimum and doesn’t impede proper airflow||87%|
|Fume hoods containing regulated carcinogens, biohazards and radioactive materials are properly labelled||83%|
|Samples/specimens/cultures are protected from environment particulars||77%|
The frequency of fume hood inspections in respondents’ labs:
|Every six months||15%|
|Every two years or more||4%|
Completed Surveys: 236
For more information on fume hoods, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/fume-hoods