Fume Hood Purpose and Importance

Fume Hood


A laboratory or university in Perth would acquire a fume hood, or fume cupboard, to ensure the safety of the workers, and other lab personnel while they deal with hazardous materials. When used efficiently, a fume hood can prevent lab personnel, and the environment from being enveloped in toxic gases, explosions and spills.


Fume hoods have proper ventilation


It goes without saying that inhaling harmful chemicals can harm your lungs and enter your bloodstream. While breathing in vapours may only result in dizziness initially, over several years this can develop into liver damage. By design, a fume hood provides a barrier between lab workers and toxic fumes, alleviating this very prudent concern.


Fume hoods can either be ducted or ductless:


  • Ducted fume hoods: These hoods will actively remove the air from the laboratory, and disperse it outside. While many ducted hoods employ constant air volume (CAV) systems, variable air volume (VAV) systems are a new generation of hoods that reduce energy costs. VAV systems reduce the volume of the air exhausted as the fume hood sash is closed.

  • Ductless fume hoods: On the other hand, this type of hood will recirculate the air by filtering it before redistributing it back into the laboratory.


Fume hoods can keep you safe during an unexpected explosion


While a fume hood is not necessarily designed to handle every incident, a well-installed fume hood will provide protection from smaller scale explosions and fires. The sash of the fume hood can act as a shield in the case of an accident or explosion. It is designed to withstand impact, so in the case of an explosion, the glass will “spider” instead of shatter. The sash should always be shut when the hood is not in use. If an explosion occurs when the sash is open, the glass and contents inside the hood will be spread around the laboratory, potentially harming other lab personnel.


Fume hoods control and contain spills


Spills happen often in laboratory settings.  Luckily, a fume hood can help contain a spill with its ‘lips’. These lips are several inches wide and act as catch basins for spills or breaks. 

It is no secret that a proper fume hood is an essential element of any area that deals with hazardous substances. Be sure to get in touch with our team at Johndec Engineering today to discuss your fume hood installation needs in Perth.