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Chemical Safety

Chemical safety is important to protect your health and well being wherever you use chemicals, from work to home, art studio to the laboratory to industrial scale operations.  The principles of protection are the same in all situations.  The methods, however, may vary substantially based upon the chemical and its properties, quantity, and frequency of use.

Chemical Safety Resources

Fume Hoods

The fume hood is a common method of controlling inhalation exposures to hazardous substances.

Each fume hood is certified by EHSS annually to ensure it is functioning properly and maintains an adequate face velocity measured at the sash threshold. The average face velocity should be between 80 and 120 feet per minute. Flows below 80 feet minute may be inadequate to contain contaminants and high velocities can result in eddy currents which cause flow outside the hood. Higher face velocities often realize little gain in protection and increased energy, maintenance, and/or capital equipment costs. A sticker on the side of the hood indicates the certification date, average face velocity, and sash height during certification.

The most common issue affecting certification is excess storage or large materials/equipment that restrict airflow to the lower baffle or opening.

Any suspected fume hood malfunctions or issues must be reported to FOM and EHSS. Alterations must be coordinated and approved by FOM and EHSS. Any repair, relocation, or alteration requires recertification of the fume hood by EHS. Additional information is available in the Chemical Hygiene Plan.


Training requirements must be based upon the hazards a lab worker or student may encounter. Visit Training for more information.


The shipment of chemicals is regulated by the Department of Transportation (Shipment within the US) and the International Air Transportation Association (Certain carriers within the US and international shipments). Contact EHSS for assistance.