Laboratory Fume Hoods - Fume Hood Used Improperly or Used for Storage

Audit finding: Fume hood used improperly or used for storage

Adverse consequence(s): Potential injury or illness due to an improper usage of the fume hood.  Potential injury due to an improper airflow in the fume hood. Extra equipment in a fume hood decreases the performance of you fume hood and can cause you to inhale the chemicals you work with.

Corrective action: Fume hoods must remain clear of all excess chemicals and equipment. Materials that are not in use for ongoing experiments must be removed.

In general, fume hoods should not be used for work with biological material. Listed below are some safe work practices to follow while using a fume hood. 

Safe work practices when using a fume hood include:

  1. Keep apparatus at least 6 inches (15 cm) back from the face of the hood. A stripe on the bench surface is a good reminder
  2. Elevate large equipment 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) above the working surface of the hood
  3. Do not place your head inside the hood when contaminants are being generated
  4. Do not use the hood as a chemical waste disposal mechanism
  5. Do not store chemicals or apparatus in the hood
  6. Keep the hood sash at the lowest possible position and use the sash as a shield