Fume Cupboards are an essential piece of equipment in many laboratories. The extraction system ensures operators are guaranteed chemical safety when carrying out applications involving potentially toxic chemicals in working environments.

Fume hoods create a clean work area by exhausting substances that can cause harm, including fumes, aerosol, gasses, vapours and dust. Fume Cupboard extraction also forms a barrier between the lab when a chemical reaction occurs.

For a fume cabinet to a provide this critical measure of protection, it’s important for technicians to use it effectively. Monmouth Scientific have created 4 Protective Measures to ensure your laboratory fume hood offers high performance and protection.

Reduce Airflow Disturbance

Airflow disturbances reduce extraction equipment and fume hood’s effectiveness. Locating a suitable laboratory furniture benchtop/clean bench is essential, so ensure to place the unit where crosscurrents can be avoided.

Many factors can create a crosscurrent, including:

  • Technician pedestrian traffic
  • Opening and closing of doors
  • Windows
  • Supply air diffusers
  • Exterior fans

To ensure high quality and maximum containment, how a lab worker moves around the ducted or ductless fume hood is important. Be sure to avoid quick movement in or out that may create air disruption.

Ensure Local Exhaust Is Working

Before beginning work, always ensure the exhaust is working. Exhausting toxins and fumes is the main job of fume cupboards and extraction systems. If this part of the ventilation system isn’t working, the hood will not operate effectively.

Our Monmouth Scientific Fume Cupboards are fitted with airflow monitors, so regularly check the monitor’s status. Ensuring that it is properly functioning will allow you to better examine the clean air any suspected airflow disruptions.

Practice Good Procedures

Equipment complying to BS EN 14175 features exceptional design and manufacture, but high efficiency is only possible if used effectively.

Our example of good laboratory fume cabinet procedures typically includes the following:

  • If large apparatus is being used inside of the fume hood, place blocks under the equipment to air to flow beneath.
  • Always keep the fume hood closed unless setting up apparatus or when using the work area.
  • Be sure to keep containers or equipment at least 150mm from the face.
  • To maximise sash to within 25mm to creates a chimney effect that allows some air to continue to flow.
  • Be careful with paper or chemical wipes as lightweight materials can easily be sucked into the extraction system, impeding airflow.

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Including occupational safety and health and maintenance procedures are essential to ensuring effective operation and high performance.

Some housekeeping and maintenance procedures that should be implemented include:

  • Don’t store items, including chemicals, inside the fume cupboard. Not only can they block airflow, they can interfere with containment as well.
  • Store hazardous chemicals in approved safety cabinets according to their safety data sheet. If chemicals are needed for a procedure, only keep the smallest amounts in the fume hood. Class II Biological safety cabinets serve a different function and are specifically designed to offer protection against biological material. It’s important to use the correct cabinet for the particular chemical or biological material.
  • Check your fume cupboard’s carbon filter systems to make sure they are clean or saturated and require replacement. Carbon filters play an important role in removing a wide range of hazardous fumes and particles from the lab.
  • Evaluate the hood before usage not only for a block in airflow, but also excessive turbulence.
  • Have dust and fume extraction systems serviced annually to ensure safe operation. Our Service and Support Engineers will perform tests may include velocity measurements and smoke tests.
  • Clean up spills immediately, ensuring that the glass on the fume cupboard glass is wiped clean.

If your fume cupboard is not operating properly, contact our Service & Support Department immediately. Maintenance is key to ensuring your laboratory fume hood works effectively and keeps technicians safe from hazardous and toxic fumes.

We offer a wide range of standard sizes, with filters to suit all applications. Our fume filtration system utilises Ultra-deep Activated Carbon filters to guarantee maximum efficiency and/or HEPA filters for particulate removal. The high quality filters are 30% larger, making laboratory fume removal more efficient, effective and safe.

For more information on how our Market Leading Clean Air Solutions can benefit you, contact Monmouth Scientific’s Technical Sales Experts on;+44(0)1278 458090 or email info@monmouthscientific.co.uk.