What Are Fume Hoods?

Fume hoods are used to limit the exposure of toxic fumes and vapors in the surrounding environment. Often used in laboratories, these units are pivotal for keeping people safe around dangerous chemicals. Depending on the type of fume hood, the unit either funnels the harmful chemicals to the outside environment in order to prevent them from contaminating a small and enclosed lab space, or filters out the fumes via a certified filter. Fume hoods are box-like units, typically with a tall base to allow the system to used while standing. To be used effectively in a variety of laboratory environments, fume hoods come in different shapes and sizes and filter a variety of fumes. The majority of laboratories use fume hoods in order to protect individuals from any potentially harmful fumes.

What is a fume hood used for?

Fume hoods are a form of regulation in environments that are exposed to harmful vapors and fumes. In order to protect people from the harmful effects of these fumes, fume hoods are used to get rid of the harmful aspects and allow the individuals to work safely. Labs use fume hoods when working with substances that let off a harmful fume or odor. Laboratory workers can work with substances directly under the fume hood, or simply place the substance in the fume hood after the work is done.


Safety for the user, the experiment, and the environment

Containment in case of spills

Protection from explosions and reactions

Wide variety of styles for different lab settings

Components of a Fume Hood


  • Airfoil
  • Hood Body
  • Sash
  • Work Surface
  • Baffles
  • Exhaust

The Different Types of Fume Hoods

Different lab environments require their own specific fume hoods to protect lab workers from harmful vapors. LabDS provides a wide variety of fume hood options to encompass any and all of a laboratories fume hood needs.


Ductless fume hoods use carbon filters to remove harmful fumes and vapors from a laboratory environment. Carbon filtration, an advanced technology used within a ductless fume hood, is an eco-friendly fume hood choice for both the user and the environment. Instead of funneling the fumes outside, the fume hood filters out the harmful fumes and then returns the safe air back into the laboratory. Ductless fume hoods are also energy and cost efficient, and offer electronic monitoring in order to continually test the performance of the filtration system.


Chemical fume hoods are used in laboratories where dangerous chemicals are used. This type of fume hood is specifically designed to allow laboratory workers to work with dangerous chemicals without exposing themselves to the harmful chemicals associated with them. Quality steel and a design that exceeds SEFA standards ensure that people can work with chemicals safely under the fume hood. The front design of the fume hood allows workers to have a full view of their work and laboratory environment through a fume hood sash.


ADA Fume Hoods are designed and built to be completely ADA-compliant in order to ensure a safe lab environment. Every feature, including the lights, switches, epoxy-coated steel exterior and digital airflow monitors, is expertly engineered to meet the safety requirements for fume hoods. ADA fume hoods can also be hand operated, and come with a standard stationary glass viewing panel and safety glass counterbalanced sash.


The canopy fume hood is a ventilation system for non-toxic materials that removes heat steam and odors. Canopy fume hoods are often used over ovens or steam baths, and are mounted to the wall or ceiling for easy removal and accessibility. These types of fume hoods can also be customized to fit the exact space in a laboratory environment in order to effectively ventilate the area.


Biosafety cabinets and fume hoods are used in labs that handle communicable diseases and provide an enclosed, ventilated workspace where individuals can work with materials potentially contaminated with pathogens that require biosafety levels. These cabinets and fume hoods ensure that the workers in the lab stay safe from any harmful chemicals or materials, and include total recirculation and partial exhaust.


Extractor arm fume hoods are local exhaust ventilation devices that ventilate local fumes, odors and air streams in a laboratory environment. The typical size extractor arm fume hood used in a lab environment is 2”, 3”, and 4” and each can be mounted on a bench, wall, or ceiling. There are a variety of extractor arm fume hood designs to best fit different lab environments and keep individuals safe around fumes and odors.


Common fume hood accessories include lab blowers, ventilation ducting in PVC, aluminum, stainless steel, sheet metal, and lattice rod assemblies for distillation rack applications. Each accessory is used to make the fume hood easier to use for the lab worker and safer for the specific materials used in the environment.


Low air flow fume hoods operate at lower rates than a standard fume hood meaning that they take up less space in a lab and can save up to 40% on an energy bill in the long run. They reduce energy intake by reducing the amount of conditioned air that is required to fill the room. Check with an expert to determine if a low air flow fume hood is a safe option for your lab.


Perchloric Acid Fume Hoods are designed to be used specifically with perchloric acid in order to prevent perchlorate salt formations. These steel devices come with a bench top and are available in a variety of widths in order to be easily used in any lab environment. The grade of steel used in the design of Perchloric Acid Fume Hoods provides the best protection from the perchloric acid.


Variable Air Volume Fume Hoods have control over the air that is exhausted from the fume hood and reduces the costs of the fume hood by maintaining a constant velocity. These are sold to be used with exhaust control systems that other manufacturers provide. The variable air volume fume hoods come with a sash in a full view version that allows for the user to have a clear view while still protected to look at their work. It also provides a great deal of interior lighting to assist with the clarity of work.


Walk In Fume Hoods are used for labs that use large accessories and materials, and need an efficient way to ventilate the odors and toxic fumes. Walk in fume hoods allow users to safely work with a variety of large, potentially harmful materials in a environment that ventilates fumes and odors. Walk In Fume Hoods can have added accessories, such as lattice rods for hanging beakers, in order to make the space more functional.


Radioisotope Fume Hoods are used in laboratories that handle radioactive materials and help to ventilate out harmful fumes and odors while also protecting against corrosion and cross contamination. A corrosion resistant blower is necessary to increase the safety of this fume hood as well as stainless steel lines and a safety glass rising sash.


Polypropylene Fume Hoods offer a safe environment for labs to use acid-rich materials and chemicals. These fume hoods ventilate the environment inside, resist against damage potentially caused by chemicals, and are non-porous to be used safely with food research. Reduced air back flow also allows for smoother processes.

Which Type of Fume Hood Do You Need?

There are a few questions to consider in order to determine the best fume hood for your laboratory environment:

  • What types of chemicals and materials are you using that need to be ventilated or safely contained?
  • What size of materials are you using?
  • What energy levels is your laboratory able to maintain?
  • Is your lab able to fit a box-like fume hood, or would a mounted canopy fume hood fit better?
  • What kind of accessories are needed to make the fume hood safer for users?

For more information about selecting the best fume hood for your laboratory, talk with the experts at LabDS! They’ll work with you to provide a fume hood that keeps workers and the lab safe

Settings Fume Hoods Are Used In…








How to Use a Fume Hood

Fume hoods are an effective way to get rid of odors, fumes, and harmful reactants in laboratory environments. However, if not used properly, fume hoods may not keep the user as safe as needed. Follow these steps to using a fume hood in order to ensure complete lab safety for the user.

  • Put the equipment or chemicals you are using as far back in the fume hood as possible in order to ensure that the fumes are being removed as effectively as possible.
  • Always turn on the hood light to see clearly inside.
  • Check the airflow monitor before using to make sure that the airflow is correct.
  • Adjust the sash to the proper height while using. Typical fume hoods indicate the appropriate sash height on the side of the hood.
  • Always close the sash of the fume hood when done working or when walking away from the fume hood for a period of time.

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