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Are we using the fumehoods & lab furniture correctly or the way they should be used?

Taking it ahead from my previous blog on corrosion in fume hoods, in most cases, I typically observe unhealthy and unsafe practices of lab users.

It is a very common practice is to keep the fume hood sash open or above the safe opening height marked on the hood. In such a case, the primary function of fume hood- containment is totally lost.

I also observe that corrosive chemicals are stored in general storage or flammable solvent storage cabinets. For corrosive chemicals, one should use special cabinets which are chemical resistant and ventilated. Yellow coloured flammable solvent storage cabinets are not meant for corrosive chemicals storage.

I strongly think that good housekeeping practices are a must and have to be brought in as a policy in all labs. The chemical spills on fume hood airfoils or lab furniture are not immediately cleaned. Now, if these metal components are not wiped immediately, then it is obvious that few chemicals will attack the metal & eventually lead to corrosion.

This casual approach does not work in the lab. It is a great risk and causes lasting damage to lab infrastructure. The scientists who would treat the lab furniture like their own kitchen and inculcate safe working practices will definitely experience that it lasts much longer and labs are much safer.

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