Today’s technology makes laboratory settings safer and more effective than ever. From clean rooms to effectively removing fumes, scientists can do it all with technology. In fact, electronic sensing devices allow scientists to maintain and monitor the humidity in clean rooms as close as plus or minus 1%. But despite advances in technology, when it comes to working with hazardous materials, scientists still need to work in an area that has chemical fume hoods. Let’s take a closer look at why fume hoods are so important and some basic guidelines that should be followed.
Why Fume Hoods Are Important
A fume hood exhausts vapors from toxic or hazardous materials away from a work area so the personnel in the area are protected. Proper ventilation in a lab setting is key to ensuring any contaminated air is effectively removed. Without fume hoods, lab personnel may experience adverse effects from working with certain materials, like when conducting 14C labeling. If harmful vapors are inhaled, the results could be disastrous. Furthermore, if fumes are left in the area, there is the potential of explosions, fires, burns, or even chemical absorption. Per GMP quality control standards, labs should be equipped with proper fume hoods before any work is done inside. Overall, fume hoods should be present in any GMP API manufacturing setting to ensure all lab personnel is working safely with potentially harmful materials.
Properly Using a Fume Hood
When working with materials like radiolabeled compounds, it’s crucial that fume hoods are inspected to ensure they’re working properly before any experiments are run. And it’s important to remember that fume hoods should only be used to remove toxic fumes from the area — they should never be used to store chemicals or equipment. So when doing things like 14C labeling, it’s crucial to store materials properly, not within the fume hood. This could be troublesome, so chemicals and equipment should be stored properly. And fume hoods should always be regularly inspected by professionals to ensure they adhere to all guidelines and standards. Using a fume hood can be beneficial, as long as it’s done properly.
All in all, fume hoods make it possible for scientists to work with hazardous materials in a safe environment. When used properly, fume hoods can be a vital asset to any laboratory setting.