Containment spaces are fundamental in any kind of laboratory. A fume hood is one of the most common ones in every field, because it is a ventilated enclosure that contains gases, vapors and fumes. Another key factor about fume hoods is that they have an exhaust fan on the top of the laboratory building that is able to pull air and airborne contaminants through connected ductwork and then exhausts them to the atmosphere. A walk in fume hood is an excellent option if your laboratory requires a containment space for large equipment.
When you read “Walk-in” you might think that we are talking about spaces that allow lab’s personnel or user to walk in and out of the fume. Well, that is not the case. Walk-in fume hoods are bench hoods that reach the floor allowing users and lab’s personnel to walk in and out only to set up the equipment before and after the work begins. You should know that there is a number of factors that you need to consider when ordering your walk-in fume hood. The first thing is the floor design; issues associated with air flow at floor level—specifically walking, deflected currents, and air leakage under doors—must be taken into consideration.
Another important detail you need to think about is your fume hood’s sash. You should know that walk-in fume hoods can have either double-hung vertical rising panels or horizontal sliding panels. While both are acceptable, horizontal sashes tend to move more easily. Since walk-in fume hoods are not as vulnerable to room air currents when the sashes are closed, many find horizontal panels the better choice.
Fume hood functions
If you are working with hazardous substances in your laboratory, we recommend you to use a fume hood. However, you need to operate them in a proper way in order to reduce or eliminate exposure to volatile liquids, dusts and mists. It becomes necessary to use any other suitable containment device when working with particularly hazardous substances. There are some important facts to keep in mind when it comes to the use of fume hoods. It is also important that you follow every safety rule, when handling any kind substances that represent a contamination risk.
For instance, before using a fume hood, we recommend you to make sure that you understand how the hood works. It is fundamental that you and your team are trained personnel to handle these devices. Your team must be absolutely sure that they know the hazards of the chemical they are working with. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but it is fundamental to keep in mind that your lab’s personnel makes sure that the hood is on. When working with substances inside the fume, you must make sure the sash is open to the proper operating level, which is usually indicated by arrows on the frame. In addition, you have to make sure that the air gauge indicates that the airflow is within the required range.
On the other hand, there are other factors to keep in mind when you are using a fume hood. First, you should never allow your head to enter the plane of the hood opening. Secondly, you must use appropriate eye protection. Another important thing is that you should be aware that nothing blocks the airflow through the baffles or through the baffle exhaust slots. Moreover, you need to keep all materials inside the hood at least six inches from the sash opening. Finally, when the fume hood is not working you need to remember to close the sash.