The best way to prevent exposure to airborne hazards is to prevent their escape into the working atmosphere by use of hoods and other ventilation devices. Operations such as running reactions, heating or evaporating solvents, and transfer of chemicals from one container to another must be performed in a hood when there is reasonable potential for hazardous material exposure.
To ensure that fume hoods are operating properly, UH EHS conducts annual inspections. In general, Facilities Services is responsible for routine maintenance & repair of fume hoods to include belts and motors. EHS can submit repair requests on behalf of the lab to FIX-IT and will track the repair to completion.
A database of all fume hoods is maintained by EHS in EHS-A. Each fume hood will have documented its Fume Hood ID number (FH/BLDG#/ROOM#/#), inspection dates, and flow rates found during EHS validation process.
A properly functioning standard hood draws air from the laboratory at a velocity of between 80 - 120 feet per minute with the sash open at the designed operating height (approximately 18 inches). The storage of large numbers of chemical bottles or other items within the hood can dramatically impair this functioning. Walk in fume hoods will be handled on an individual basis with the specific investigator and manufacturer involved.
More information on fume hoods can be found in the General Laboratory Safety Manual (section 4.2 Safety Equipment) and the Chemical Hygiene Plan (section 3.1 Engineering Controls).