Ductless hoods can be a perfect addition to most labs, but sometimes get overlooked because of old EHS concerns over their effectiveness.
Ductless fume hoods (also called filtered fume hoods) have had bad rap because historically some didn’t do what they were intended to do – which is keep the user safe.
This happened because of:
- Poorly constructed filters. There wasn’t enough filler material which created peaks and valleys within the filter cartridge, therefore creating paths of least resistance which caused breakthrough of the noxious fumes.
- No discussion or validation between purchaser and vendor on what chemicals were acceptable for use with the filter(s) being purchased.
- The wrong filters were used for the particular chemicals in use. Many filters are made so that the filter material is specific to what is being used inside the hood.
- Poor design of airflow through the enclosure and filters. Not enough or too much air-flow inside the hood itself.
Opinions are shifting and these preconceptions are falling by the wayside thanks to Erlab, Inc. and the steadfast and diligent work they’ve done to create state-of-the-art filtration method using their proprietary filtration substance. They’ve also designed a user-interface that works together with the user and lab manager to keep hoods working at their optimum level at all times. The technology helps users know if a breakthrough is detected, if the airflow is insufficient and when it’s time to change the filter.
These developments have allowed for:
- Single Use Filtration. Only ONE filter is needed for all approved chemicals used in the hood as compared to stacks and stacks of different filters for various chemicals.
- Partnering with Fume Hood manufacturing experts to create hoods that are ANSI/ASHRAE tested – meaning airflow through the hood meets and often exceeds safety standards set by the AIHA.
- Processes are in place for chemical use validation and safety is guaranteed if the hood is used as described.
If you have steered away from ductless hoods for any of the reasons above – it’s time to take another look. Recent developments have allowed for ductless hoods to be a viable option in many labs.
As you may know from our recent blog post, Plastic Concepts is a manufacturer partner with Erlab, and we make custom polypropylene hoods fitted with their proprietary equipment. Here is one we recently did for our customer…
Ducted vs. Ductless – what’s the best choice?