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University of Colorado Denver

Environmental Health and Safety, University of Colorado Denver
fume hood female worker


Laboratory Hoods

  Laboratory Hoods

There are three main types of laboratory ventilation equipment used at UCD:

  • Chemical Fume Hoods (FH)
  • Laminar Flow Hoods (LFH) or Clean Benches,
  • Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC)

The design of each type of ventilation unit is specific to the intended application for specific types of materials that are used within them such as volatile chemicals or biological materials including known or expected infectious agents. Selection of the appropriate type of ventilation unit is critical and may affect your safety, or the efficacy of your experiment. Often these units look very similar so it is important to understand the equipment in your lab before using it.

Basic Components

All three types of laboratory ventilation equipment consist of basic components although their orientation and functionality may vary.

  1. A working surface — the counter top or bench, which provides a place for the materials to be worked on
  2. Cabinet or Hood — an enclosure to physically contain particulates and vapors from the room where the equipment is contained
  3. Sash — the transparent front panel of the "hood", usually designed to open either vertically, horizontally or both
  4. Blower — each unit may contain one or more, used to direct and move air through the hood.

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