The Importance of Working in a Fume Hood
January 31, 2019 | Fume Hoods

The Importance of Working in a Fume Hood

In most laboratories, a fume hood is a piece of equipment that is installed to create a safe environment. Lab employees can work with hazardous materials in an enclosed space, ensuring their safety as well as others in the lab. Fume hoods are used to promote individual safety, for those using the unit as well as for those located near an object. Fully understanding the importance of this piece of equipment can help laboratory employees stay safe and function properly.

Preventing Vapor Inhalation

The may reason why a fume hood is used in a laboratory is to stop the inhalation of toxic fumes. When employees breathe in toxic fumes, it will cause the toxins to attach to the lungs or enter into the bloodstream. Dizziness can occur as well as cause damage to areas of the body. With a fume hood in place, dealing with toxic materials is safer, as the equipment creates a barrier between the fumes and the employees.


A fume hood that has been installed properly can provide localized ventilation for the space. There will be ductwork attached to the hood that moves the dangerous vapors outside of the lab. Fume hoods can have varied exhaust systems that will process differently. It is important to install a fume hood that will function for the work being conducted in the lab.

Containing Spills and Chemical Absorption

In a fume hood, the unit is created to contain spills and absorb chemicals when needed. When it is properly functioning, and installed correctly, the unit will be able to contain any minor liquid spills. The hood will have a lip that will act as a catching area for spillages. This helps to protect other surfaces in the labs as spills will be limited to enclosed containers.

Chemical absorption is another factor the fume hood can provide. Absorbing chemicals on the skin needs to be avoided. When working with materials that are hazardous, an enclosed box of the fume hood provides protection. The box of the unit will isolate the employee from direct contact with the material. This isolation along with gloves and other protective gear ensure that the employee remains safe and avoids absorbing any material on their skin.

For the safety and integrity of the lab, a fume hood or several fume hoods should be installed, based on the size and workload of the lab. When extremely dangerous work must take place involving chemicals and other hazardous materials, a fume hood is essential. This adequate form of protection is needed so that employees feel safe and secure when conducting experiments or testing.

When planning an installation, be sure to order the correct fume hood type, with proper ventilation methods and spill containment areas. With the proper setup, the fume hood will function for an extended period of time, protecting the individual from harmful toxins and materials.

To learn more about fume hoods, give us a call today. Contact our team to find out the essential information on a new fume hood installation.