Measuring Fumes, Vapor, and Air Control

Due to the nature of laboratory experimentation, researchers and scientists usually face the risk of exposure to dangerous substances. Although the primary function of evaporators is to create vapors, processes that use heating equipment can lead to the formation of toxic gasses.

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Such materials should be precisely regulated to preserve high-purity laboratory settings with safe operating conditions, and this is why the use of appropriate lab safety devices is extremely important for scientific facilities everywhere.

A specific area of concern is control of vapors, fumes, and particulates, with various risks pertaining to inadequate environmental dispersion accidental inhalation. This article looks at some of the working principles of laboratory safety equipment for air and vapor control.

Lab Safety Equipment for Fumes, Vapors, and Particulates

In laboratory settings, air purity is often maintained by ventilation systems, for example, fume hoods — a branch of laboratory safety equipment that controls the risk of exposure to particulates and fumes. Such systems also pose a physical obstacle that is secondarily designed to decrease the chance of human contact with accidental fires and chemical spills.

Such components draw in air with the help of fans or blowers that work at different velocities based on the specification. Increased velocities can lead to turbulent conditions, thus reducing the effectiveness of containment, whereas decreased velocities may not preserve the required levels of pressure for optimal containment. For hood velocity, the average recommendation is between 0.3 and 0.5 m/second.

Most often, this type of lab safety equipment is fixed to a tabletop chamber with a negative pressure to improve airflow and separate the contaminants, thus stopping them from escaping the equipment. It is a vastly cheaper methodology compared to the use of a full-sized clean room.

The operation of these products is based on a number of different principles; however, the two main differences are whether the lab safety equipment employs an exhaustive vent or filters:

  • Filtered (ductless) fume hoods: these are highly versatile, free-standing systems that pull air via filtration membranes formed of specific media based on the chemical application
  • Vented fume hoods: these offer excellent degrees of air purity, as a permanent ventilation shaft vents the generated particulates or fumes outside the lab environment.

Each of these types of laboratory safety equipment has certain advantages and disadvantages, including installations, varying running costs, and maintenance demands.

Lab Safety Equipment from Glas-Col

Glas-Col specializes in supplying a complete a range of laboratory equipment and has a demonstrable history of enhancing laboratory processes with new instrumentation and materials.

Along with AirFiltronix, Glas-Col provides access to various laboratory safety systems for maintaining safe air quality parameters and filtering toxic airborne substances. The company offers access to established filtered fume hoods for use in various experimentation applications, or it can accommodate custom-hood designs for laboratory settings with high degrees of specificity.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Glas-Col.

For more information on this source, please visit Glas-Col.


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