Chemical Fume Hoods

Chemical fume hoods are the most common engineering control to protect against inhalation of chemicals at Boston University.  The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) coordinates annual inspection of chemical fume hoods to ensure they are functioning properly.

The Office of Facilities Management (OFM) repairs chemical fume hoods which are not functioning.  If a laboratory worker suspects that a chemical fume hood is not functioning properly, he or she should contact OFM at 353-2015 (Charles River Campus) or 414-6666 (Medical Campus).

When using a chemical fume hood, laboratory workers should follow these guidelines:

  • On sashes that open vertically, keep the sash as low as possible.  The sash should never exceed the maximum sash height indicated on the inspection sticker.
  • Keep only what is needed for the task in the hood. Excess equipment in the hood can reduce the provided protection.
  • Work as far back in the hood as possible; ideally, at least 6″ from the opening.
  • Taping a “Kimwipe” or other light paper “flag” to the bottom of the sash can serve as a rudimentary airflow indicator.  If the flag does not indicate inward airflow, stop work, lower the sash, and report the problem to the Office of Facilities Management.