Fume Hood Work Practices

When properly used, a well-designed hood in a ventilated room will protect you (a trained laboratory worker) from most airborne exposures to hazardous laboratory chemicals. The following work practices are always required when using chemical fume hoods, and more stringent work practices may be necessary in some circumstances.

Good Work Practices

  • Conduct all work and keep all apparatus at least 6 inches back from the face of the hood. A stripe on the bench surface is a good reminder. 
  • Keep the hood sash closed as much as possible.
  • Keep the hood slots and baffles free of obstruction by apparatus or containers. 
  • Do not permanently store chemicals or apparatus in the hood. Large equipment used inside the hood should be placed on blocks to allow airflow under the equipment. Store chemicals in an approved safety cabinet. 
  • Do not put your head in the hood when contaminants are being generated. 
  • Do not use the hood as a waste disposal mechanism. Solvent bottles in the fume hood must be capped when not in use. 
  • Conduct any processes that may generate air contaminants at or above the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) inside a hood. 
  • Minimize foot traffic by the face of the hood. Do not make fast movements when taking things in and out of the hood. 
  • Keep laboratory doors closed (exception: some laboratory designs require lab doors to be open). 
  • Do not remove hood sash or sash panels except when necessary for apparatus set-up. Always replace sash or panels prior to working in the hood. 
  • Do not place electrical receptacles or other spark sources inside the hood when flammable liquids or gases are present. No permanent electrical receptacles are permitted in the hood. 
  • Use an appropriate barricade if there is a chance of explosion, implosion or eruption.