Chemical Fume Hood and Bio Safety Cabinet Certification

Hood certifications will be conducted on every fume hood annually, thereafter, or whenever a significant change has been made in its use or location. Chemical Fume Hood certification is determined by several factors, including the average face velocity, the overall condition of the hood, the types and quantities of chemicals used in the hood. EHS standards require all chemical fume hoods to maintain an average face velocity that is adequate to provide containment. Such face velocities typically range from 80-125 fpm at a sash height of 18 inches. Evaluations will include the quality of the structure, the installation, airflow patterns, and use of the hood. These evaluations and certifications will be conducted by qualified EHS personnel or an EHS-approved third-party vendor.

A certification sticker will be placed on all hoods that meet EHS standards. The sticker will be placed on the side of the hood with an arrow that shows the maximum safe operating sash height.

If the hood does not pass the certification, it will be labeled with a red "DO NOT USE" sticker. The hood is not certified for use and may be unsafe. These hoods receive priority maintenance. UNM Facilities Management will notify EHS when the hood is repaired and EHS will re-evaluate the hood prior to employee use.

Recommendations for Safe Chemical Fume Hood Use

  1. Annual certifications of the fume hood should be done by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to ensure that it is operating properly. If you have a hood in need of certification or are wondering when your recertification is scheduled, please contact EHS at 277-2753.

  2. It is recommended that continuous monitoring devices be installed on each fume hood so that fume hood performance can be determined prior to each use. If you would like information on installing a continuous monitoring device, please contact EHS 277-2753.

  3. Fume hoods should not be regarded as a means for disposing of chemicals. Container lids should be kept tightly closed and chemicals disposed of according to UNM’s Hazardous Waste Management Guidelines.

  4. Vertical and/or horizontal sash doors should be closed to the maximum position possible while still allowing comfortable working conditions. This increases the performance of the fume hood and provides eye and face protection. If a sash restriction has been placed on the fume hood, the fume hood must not be used with the sash above the designated mark.

  5. Keep equipment in the fume hood to a minimum. If equipment is used in the hood, it should be kept to the sides of the hood. Placing equipment close to the face or against the back of the hood alters airflow patterns.

  6. Do not lean into the fume hood, make quick motions into or out of the hood, or walk quickly by the hood opening. This causes airflow disturbances.

  7. Use the appropriate fume hood for the job. Perchloric acid should only be used in an approved Perchloric Acid hood that is labeled as such. Hoods in which radionuclides are used must be labeled according to Radiation Safety guidelines. Hood Use Types: General Chemistry, Perchloric Acid, and Radionuclides.

  8. Sash doors should never be removed from fume hoods.

  9. Limit chemical storage in fume hoods. Chemical storage in hoods alters airflow patterns and chemicals should be moved from hoods to the appropriate storage cabinets.

  10. Contact EHS at 277-2753 if you think that your hood is not functioning properly and do not use it until it has been approved for use.