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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Resources  /  Laboratory  /  Lab Manual  /  Fume Cupboards

Fume Cupboards

9.1 Fume Cupboards and Filtration Cabinet

There are fume cupboards in each of the preparation rooms. They are checked on an annual basis to ensure that they are working efficiently. Should the flow rate in the fume cupboards drop considerably, an alarm will sound. If this happens anything you have been working on in the fume cupboard should be stoppered or covered to prevent the fumes from escaping into the lab and you should immediately leave the area and inform the Lab Supervisor.

  • All fume cupboards should be used with the sash pulled down to a safe working height – usually marked on the side of the cupboard. This is the height at which the airflow into the fume cupboard is greatest and hence its extraction capacity is best.
  • Do not lean into the fume cupboard – only the users hands and forearms should be inside the cabinet.
  • Do not store unnecessary items (including water baths and hotplates) in the fume cupboard as this will interrupt the airflow and decrease the efficiency of the cupboard.
  • After use the fume cupboards must be emptied and all surfaces wiped clean. Although the fume cupboards will be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis there is still a risk to the next user of contamination from the chemicals and the samples you are using.
  • Procedures not needing continuous observation, e.g. samples in test tubes gently reacting in a waterbath, samples left overnight to cool, must have clear labels of chemicals being used, worker and contact details, time/date of finishing (see overnight or unattended experiments).
  • The fume cupboard in B04 must be emptied of all chemicals at the end of each day. Chemicals should be returned to the main laboratory for secure overnight storage.

9.2 Laminar Flow Cabinet

Room B12 houses the laminar flow cabinet. THIS IS NOT A FUME CUPBOARD. This cabinet has no extraction facilities; in fact it blows air out into the room. It is to be used only for the preparation of ultra clean samples. Any chemical work should be carried out in the fume cupboard in B19 and samples should only be transferred once there is no risk of any fumes being evolved.