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Lab Fume Hoods

Saving Lives In The Lab – Laboratory Fume Hoods


In a lab, protective equipment is important. Safety must be a priority. When conducting experiments, one means of reducing risks is to operate under a fume hood. Lab fume hoods limit the exposure of individuals to substances creating a secure environment.


Why Install a Fume Hood in Your Lab?


When lab technicians work with microorganisms and potential health hazards, an open bench for assays is neither appropriate nor safe. A fume hood will provide protection while abetting the prevention of certain substances and reagents from either cross-reaction or cross-contamination with other elements present.




Fume hoods are available in two types.

  1. Ducted: Ducted laboratory fume hoods consist of several basic components.
  • Base
  • Work surface
  • Fume hood
  • Ventilation system

Ducted fume hoods ventilate by drawing the fumes/contaminants outside. They require a duct to accomplish this. This type of fume hood is static. However, for many applications, this is best.


  1. Ductless: A ductless fume hood operates using filters to remove the specific contaminants, e.g., particulates, toxic gases and organic solvents, before returning the air back into the lab. These systems are portable. They can be less costly because they do not require ductwork. However, they are not advisable for using when the chemicals are unknown and may require increased maintenance resulting from the need to replace filters.


Laboratory Fume Hoods: Making the Decision


When choosing a fume hood for your lab, always make certain it is compatible with your applications and the environment. With so many styles, models and types of lab fume hoods on the market, it is important you carefully examine the options. Make your decision based on its performance and operational statistics. Look closely at the following factors first:


  • Safety
  • Capabilities, i.e., removal of specific particulates, toxins, gases, etc.
  • Duct/ductless


Do not forget to include the cost of maintenance.