The lab occupants are a critical component of the lab ventilation system. The entire system is designed to keep occupants safe and to provide the best possible indoor air quality in order to support their work.
Even the best-designed fume hoods and well-integrated lab ventilation system cannot eliminate the risk of loss of containment, unless the lab users operate them properly.
User practices play an important role in ensuring that the lab ventilation system functions as designed. Some commonly observed user problems are
- Sash Management Practices – Leaving the sash in the open position when not required increases the risk of loss of containment and wastes energy in variable systems
- Switching Off Lab Ventilation Systems at Night – On doing so, any remaining chemicals will continue to remain in the lab and will eventually settle on all exposed surfaces. A symptom of this problem is the strong smell of chemicals upon entering the lab in the morning.
- Using Fume Hoods for Chemical Storage – Hoods are not intended for chemical storage and specialized solutions need to be used for this.
- Blocking Air Flow In the Fume Hood – Improper equipment placement can block the airfoils and baffles, which disrupts the airflow in the hood, leading to a loss of containment.
There is no reason why a Lab should smell of chemicals if your Lab Ventilation System and Fume Hoods are working as expected