Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods

The standard for testing the performance of laboratory fume hoods (laboratory hoods) has been revised. The latest version, ANSI/ASHRAE STANDARD 110-2016 - Methods of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods, specifies a quantitative and qualitative test method for evaluating fume containment of laboratory fume hoods.

ANSI/ASHRAE 110-2016 covers a method of testing that applies to many different types of fume hoods, including conventional, bypass, auxiliary air, and variable-air-volume (VAV) laboratory fume hoods. It is intended primarily for factory testing but can also be used to assist the testing procedure for installed laboratory hoods.

While many of the commonly used materials in laboratory operations do not increase the level of hazards, some materials, such as urethanes, rubbers, epoxies and resins, can give off fumes that are harmful or irritating. Because of this, it is required through OSHA 1910.1450 that “fume hoods and other protective equipment are functioning properly and specific measures that shall be taken to ensure proper and adequate performance of such equipment.”


Laboratory Hood Testing


ANSI/ASHRAE 110-2016 addresses the second half of this requirement and gives guidelines for several different procedures to do so, including tests to visualize the flow of fumes, detect low concentrations of tracer gas, and determine the gas that can escape from the hood sash. It includes comprehensive diagrams that demonstrate the appearance of a thoroughly tested laboratory hood.

The previous revision of this standard was released in 1995, and this update includes modifications to the testing procedures and the information-based sections of the document, which have been significantly expanded.

In addition, the 2016 version of the standard requires digital collection of data during testing procures, rather than allow for manual data collection. In this way, ANSI/ASHRAE 110-2016 better matches the practices of the industry and takes advantage of modern technology.

ANSI/ASHRAE 110-2016 is available on the ANSI Webstore.
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