From: Allen Niemi <anniemi**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Managing teaching lab ventilation
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:18:04 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAN0bzO7cZbVvP45duzZWG+Q9EBk9uo8z2-V8fj1B40XuhD3+Dw**At_Symbol_Here**

Our Chemical Sciences Building, where this question is most applicable, does not vary the general room ventilation during normal building hours but our teaching lab fume hoods are on timers that are controlled by our heating plant. The timers are set to the course schedule for each room so that the hoods are shut down when there are no room occupants. Each semester the timers are reset to the new schedule. Most of the other teaching labs have VAV hoods that do this automatically but, again, the general room ventilation is only reduced during the overnight hours (maybe midnight until 7:00 am).


On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
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

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College


Allen Niemi, PhD
Occupational Safety and Health Services
Room 322 Lakeshore Center
Michigan Technological University
Phone: 906-487-2118
Fax: 906-487-3048

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