> >I have read a number of other university design standards and they are also inconsistent.
I have seen similarly inconsistent approaches to this question from project to project even within the same institution with a single design standard.
In my mind, it's a classic capital costs vs. operating costs question, as installing compliant vents for a flammable cabinet requires the expense and time of finding a protected route to the building's exhaust point. On the other hand, skipping the venting means that inventory control of the contents of the cabinet becomes very important to protect the quality of the stored chemicals and the exposure of the lab workers to unpredictable chemical emissions. So I think that the outcome of this discussion, as with so many lab design questions, will depend on the project budget and the relative priorities of the stakeholders in the design process.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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