How to Choose the Right Lab Fume Hood

When it comes to quality lab design, one of the most important decisions to make is selecting the right furniture and fume hoods for your setup. Chemical fume hoods are an essential part of every laboratory because they limit your lab workers’ exposure to toxic fumes and vapours. The laboratory fume hood funnels the chemical vapour outside in order to prevent contamination of the lab space or filters them out using a certified filter. Since every lab is different, you need to consider the different options available and pick one that best fits your situation.

Flexible Sizes and Constructions

There are several different types of fume hoods available. Most of them are large, box-shaped units that allow ease of use while standing up. If your lab is designed to be ADA compliant, there are laboratory fume hoods custom built to meet those standards. If your facility often handles very large objects that give off toxic fumes, investing in a walk-in fume cupboard would probably be the best option. They’re highly customizable, including different drainage options and the ability to be built right to your specifications.

Different Fume Hoods for Different Materials

Many varieties of laboratory fume cupboards are categorized by what kinds of materials they’re built to safely contain. Fume hood chemistry is a vital consideration when determining what unit will best suit your lab. There are some designed to handle the unique properties of perchloric acid by limiting the opportunity for perchloric salts to accumulate and polypropylene fume hoods engineered to resist other acid-rich environments like sulphuric and hydrochloric acids.

Biosafety cabinets feature a fume hood chamber that’s best suited for work with infectious disease with total recirculation, partial exhaust, and full exhaust models available. This is useful in keeping your lab workers safe if your facility deals in research for dangerous communicable diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B. Laboratory fume cupboards specialized for work involving radioisotopes are also available if the nature of your lab’s work requires one.

Other Fume Hoods for Nontoxic Materials

For less hazardous situations, wall-mounted or ceiling-suspended canopy fume hoods like the kind you’d see over a household oven are a good option. These are only meant for nontoxic fumes like steam, heat, and odours. For localized fumes, extractor arm fume hoods can be mounted to a bench, ceiling, or wall. They’re also used for odours and air streams and provide a quick solution for creating fume-free workplaces.

Choosing the Best Laboratory Fume Hoods

When considering the right laboratory fume hoods to include in your lab design, it’s immediately apparent that there are a lot of options to choose from. The most important things to keep in mind are the size of your space and the kind of materials you’ll be working with. Most types of fume hoods are custom-built to your specifications. With this flexibility in mind, decide what your facility really needs and then choose the model(s) most appropriate to keep your lab safe.