I am interested in hearing how schools are balancing the connected issues of safety and cost of laboratory ventilation in teaching laboratories.
My experience with optimization of general lab ventilation in research settings is that it can be pretty straight forward because the chemical processes are reasonably stable and can be expected to remain consistent in terms of the chemicals used, where they are used, etc. for months, if not years at a time. However, in the teaching lab setting, the chemicals used tend to change dramatically from week to week and a lab with no chemicals one week may host 20 set ups that involve the use of ether or beta mercaptoethanol the next week.
In those situations, is lab ventilation reduced in the less chemically-intense weeks and/or increased during odoriferous weeks? If so, who manages these changes? Teaching faculty, building staff, central facilities staff, others?
Thanks for any help in working through these questions.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
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