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University of Colorado Denver

Environmental Health and Safety, University of Colorado Denver


Lab Ventilation


Most laboratories located on the Anschutz Medical Campus are designed with more than adequate ventilation and exhaust systems for normal work operations. When you will be working with infectious materials or volatile chemicals, additional engineering controls may be needed. Specialized applications or work activities require customized exhaust designs such as an exhaust canopy, snorkel exhaust, down draft table, or a slot exhaust at the back of a work surface. Some labs have these types of specialized ventilations. If you will be working with one of these systems, make certain they fit the needs of your work practices and specific chemical applications. Contact EHS for assistance and information, or to schedule an assessment of your contaminate exhaust system.

Typically, the three types of laboratory ventilation equipment most used at the AMC are laboratory hoods:

  • Chemical Fume Hoods (FH)
  • Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC)
  • Laminar Flow Hoods (LFH) or Clean Benches (Note: These only provide product protection, not worker protection)

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. Visit the Lab Hoods page for more information or to take one of the training modules on lab hoods.

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