Enhance Safety with Laboratory Fume Hoods
June 4, 2020 | Fume Hoods

Enhance Safety with Laboratory Fume Hoods

Fume hood cabinets help to reduce exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes. They protect the laboratory environment as well as the workers when used for laboratory safety. Navigating the types of fume hood cabinets can be confusing and tricky when trying to find the one that is perfect for your application. General-purpose hoods, ducted fume hoods, vented enclosures, extractor systems, biosafety, and PCR enclosures all have their advantages and disadvantages when considering the laboratory. Read on to find out more about different types and how they can help you.

How to Choose a Fume Hood Cabinet

The best place to start when choosing a fume hood cabinet is to establish whether you are protecting staff, products, or both. If the goal is to protect the products, then you will likely need a horizontal or vertical clean bench or a PCR enclosure. If the goal is to protect staff from the chemicals used, then fume extractor or ducted/ductless chemical hood will be needed. If using a powder, a fume extractor or vented enclosure is recommended. A Class I biosafety cabinet is required when using biologicals, but a Class II biosafety cabinet is needed if you are safeguarding employees and products.

Biosafety and PCR Enclosures

These protect the user while allowing the handling of delicate substances. When entering the cabinet, the air is HEPA filtered and can be filtered again or discharged outside when exiting. They can be used to manipulate hazardous, but sensitive biological materials.

Ducted Fume Hoods

Especially useful when dealing with chemically dangerous fumes by providing ventilation to the outside. These are particularly useful when user protection is paramount, and many have “by-pass” designs that permit steady airflows within the fume hood cabinet for a variety of sash positions. Low airflow designs maximize energy efficiency while still protecting the user.

Ductless Fume Hoods

These are employed in facilities where outside ventilation is not an option. They pass air that has been contaminated through filters before returning it into the room. They can remove biological hazards and a large proportion of particulates. Additionally, they can reduce airborne chemicals to safe levels to be in compliance with monitoring protocols.

Vented Enclosures

By partly enclosing the fume source these hoods boost fume removal. Some hoods enhance protection further by using directly forced airflow. Low flow systems facilitate sensitive operations such as weighing while still affording protection.

Extractor Systems

These systems administer localized ventilation by using easy to place extractor arms. These arms remove fumes or airborne particles at the contaminant source. They are especially handy when the fume source cannot be moved to a more conventional fume hood cabinet. They can be directly vented to the outside or the air can be filtered and recirculated through the room.


Considering the needs of your laboratory can help to narrow down what types of fume hood cabinets would work best for your application. When looking for fume hood cabinets or laboratory fume hood accessories be sure to contact us. We offer laboratory equipment with industry-leading quality at a reasonable price. Reach out today to find out how we can help with all of your lab needs!