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Environmental Health and Safety
The University of Mississippi

Maintenance of Chemical Fume Hoods

The following safety procedures are recommended for any personnel performing maintenance on laboratory fume hoods and its exhaust components.

  • Assume that the duct lining, fume hood lining and all internal exhaust components are potentially contaminated with chemical residues.
  • Generally, maintenance personnel will not be working with the internal hood components.
  • If potential contamination is suspected, maintenance personnel must contact the Department of Health & Safety (DHS) (915-5433) for assistance.
  • The Lab Supervisor or Department Chair must be contacted and informed before maintenance is performed on their fume hood.
  • The Lab workers will need time to contain or remove all hazardous materials from the fume hood.
  • If work is to be performed on the portion of the fume hood within the lab, it may need to be decontaminated before work can begin.
  • If radioactive materials are used in the hood, the maintenance personnel may request that DHS (915-5433) perform a survey of the hood before maintenance work begins.
  • On the day the work is to be performed, maintenance personnel must post the hood with the red “Attention–This Hood Is Being Repaired” notice and fill in the appropriate information.
  • It is important that this notice is easily visible by all lab workers that may use the fume hood.
  • Nitrile gloves, eye protection and chemical resistant coveralls (Tyvek™) may be necessary if contact with internal components is required.
  • When working around sharp objects like sheet metal, wear appropriate outer work gloves in addition to inner Nitrile gloves.
  • Eye protection is especially important when working on systems, which are in operation.
  • Special care must be used when working on energized systems.
  • Prior approval of your supervisor and special procedures may be needed before working on energized systems.
  • Since other exhaust systems from the building may be operational, a chemical cartridge respirator should be worn during all roof top maintenance.
  • Note: Before respirators are to be used, you must determine which type of respirator is needed and how it should be properly fitted.
  • For help in respirator selection and use, please call DHS (915-5433). Workers should always wear protective eye wear (goggles) when working near operational hood exhaust vents.
  • After the work is completed, the Nitrile gloves should be discarded and hands should be washed with soap and water.
  • The Red Hood Repair Notice should be removed from the fume hood after the hood has been certified it is operating effectively.
  • If any assistance is needed in reviewing the hazards present in any fume hood, please call the Department of Health & Safety (DHS) at 915-5433.