Spring

 

2013

By: K. Lee Stone

 

Lee Stone has a Master's degree in toxicology from Indiana University and is a certified Chemical Hygiene Officer. Lee has served as the Laboratory Safety Manager for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety since 2004.

 

E-mail Lee Stone at: leestone@iupui.edu

 

 

A Reminder to Shut the Sash

Several years ago we began a Shut the Sash program due to the fact that we were finding fume hood sashes being routinely left open when not in use. We still find fume hoods with open sashes when not in use. So, this is a reminder that there are many reasons to shut the sash.

 

When the sash is closed it acts as a barrier between you and the materials that may be in the hood. The sash is made of tempered glass and can offer added protection from shattered glass, chemical spills, and vapors which will remain contained in the hood if the sash is closed when an “accidental event” occurs.

 

In case of a power outage or hood ventilation failure, chemical vapors will not back up into the laboratory. If there is an accidental or emergency shutdown of the fume hood ventilation system a closed sash will help contain vapors in the hood. Never open a fume hood if the ventilation system is not operational.

 

Most fume hoods at IUPUI operate on a "variable air volume" system, which means the volume of air exhausted is reduced as the sash height is lowered. It is estimated that each four foot fume hood with its sash open all of the time costs over $3500 per year to operate. This cost accounts for the heating and cooling to condition the air removed by the hood as well as the fan energy to move the air. If half the fume hoods on campus are left open the total cost of wasted energy quickly jumps to over one million dollars per year. This figure would actually be even higher given the fact that the energy costs will be greater for larger hoods, which are common. Even if we could insure that all sashes are closed for 12 hours per day, the savings to the University on wasted energy could be in the millions of dollars.

 

Please remember to “Shut the Sash”. Shutting the sash is a simple habit to develop that will result in safer labs, reduce our carbon footprint, save money and may save jobs.

 

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Lab Notes is a quarterly publication by the IUPUI Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Lab Notes is designed, edited and published by K. Lee Stone.

"Don't Learn Laboratory Safety by Accident!"