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As general lab ventilation cannot be relied upon to protect personnel from localized exposures to hazardous levels of airborne chemicals, engineering controls such as laboratory fume hoods, glove boxes and other local exhaust systems (e.g., drop down flexible ducts) are often necessary to provide additional exposure control. In general, laboratory fume hoods are recommended whenever using hazardous chemicals that:

  • Have a high degree of acute toxicity, are carcinogens, or are reproductive toxins, except where there is very low risk of exposure (e.g., use of minimal quantities in a closed system)
  • Have a permissible exposure limit of less than 50 ppm (or 0.25 mg/m3 for particulate matter)
  • Are appreciably volatile (e.g., solvents) or are easily dispersible in air (e.g., dust)

See the Fume Hood Use SOP for information on safe use of fume hoods.

Performance Verification of Engineering Controls and Safety Equipment

To assure that primary engineering controls and safety equipment provide proper and adequate performance, the University provides performance verification checks on a routine basis as identified in the Performance Verification of Engineering Controls and Safety Equipment table.