If you’re studying to become a lab technician or a beginner in the field, you likely know how to identify a fume hood. But do you know when you should use it and for what experiments it’s applicable? Keep reading for some of the most common instances when you should use a fume hood in your lab.
Whenever you’re working with hazardous substances, you always want to use a fume hood. The odors from these materials can be dangerous to inhale, and you don’t want them to spread around your lab space. Working in a safe, closed-off space with a fume hood can prevent these dangers. Some chemicals have odors that are particularly strong and unpleasant, so working with a fume hood will be convenient and comfortable for the lab technician as well.
Some reactions from certain experiments can generate high pressure that is enough to cause explosions. Make sure to use the fume hood to distance yourself safely from these hazardous reactions. A covered space, like a fume hood, is best for working with high-pressure materials and reactions like these.
Some materials, including chemicals, can give off vapors that can cause fires. Make sure to keep these fire hazards away from surrounding materials by sectioning them off in the fume hood. You should always make sure to clear clutter around your fume hood during experiments to avoid blocking ventilation or adding to fire risks.
These are some of the most common instances of when you should use a fume hood in your lab. If your laboratory tends to make use of the fume hood often, you should also make sure that it’s in good condition and improve lab hood performance where you can. Keeping it in good condition is just as important as knowing when to use it.