The Test Criteria for Fume Cupboards

All fume cupboards should be maintained in line with manufactures recommendations and performance thresholds, including expected face velocity and containment values, recommended and confirmed by them at the time of commissioning.

Testing Fume Cupboards

Sometimes it may be difficult to find the manufacturer’s performance specifications as the units may be old, in which case the best practice velocity guidelines for ducted fume cupboards carrying out standard work with hazardous substances, are that the face velocity should be 0.5m/s ±10% with the sash set to 500mm height, and if face velocities fall below 0.45m/s the unit should be removed from use until remedial work has been completed. If you are using radioactive materials that could result in a gaseous or aerosol release, these may require a higher airflow velocity, usually 0.7 m/s or an average SF6 containment of 0.01ppm, it is essential that these minimum requirements are met.

Fume Cupboard Testing Requirements

When it comes to fume cupboard and LEV testing, the HSE have updated their guidance in the second edition of their publication HSG 258 – ‘controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV)’.

While a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods may be employed for LEV testing, HSE guidance for fume cupboard testing states the need to measure face velocity and that any further testing should be carried out in accordance with BS EN 14175.

When it comes to testing recirculating fume cupboards, the fume cupboards must also include particular filter and seal integrity testing and gaseous phase filter capacity testing as outlined in BS 7989:2001.

Prior to the commencement of testing all equipment to be used must be appropriately calibrated and maintained and the performance specifications for the fume cupboard to be tested must be checked to ensure the correct ones are being used. Any visual inspections of the fume cupboard should be carried out in strict accordance with HSG 258 and BS EN 14175-4:2004.

I hope the above information was informative. If you would like some more information in regards to our cleanroom testing service please don’t hesitate to contact Darren directly on 07775623464.

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