A fume cupboard is a means of containing or extracting hazardous fumes/vapours/aerosols away from the operator to be safely discharged to the atmosphere.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations require that a risk assessment must be carried out on all procedures used in the laboratories, in order to eliminate or minimise risk. Work with substances that produce/generate toxic or harmful fumes, vapours, gases, dust or chemical aerosols, should be carried out in a fume cupboard in order to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to an acceptable and safe level. Fume cupboards are not to be used for the containment of biological materials. Where such containment is required a microbiological safety cabinet must be used.
It is obviously crucial that the fume cupboard is appropriately located, able to perform to the design criteria, used correctly and maintained. Please see related links for University guidance relating to the safe use and maintenance of fume cupboards.
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