How can I tell if my fume cupboards and LEV systems are sufficient for keeping the air clean?

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How can I tell if my fume cupboards and LEV systems are sufficient for keeping the air clean?
Many processes in the lab and in industrial processes give off vapours or fumes, which can be harmful to health. Fume cupboards, fume hoods or LEV (local exhaust ventilation) systems are used to minimise the effects, by either absorbing or removing the vapours. But how can you tell if the fume cupboards you have are doing the job? Is there still pollution present even with fume hoods being used? The Erlab Halo Sense units offer a fast and low cost way to verify that your fume hoods are suitable for the work environment. [caption id="attachment_11125" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The Halo Sense unit by Erlab offers an additional check that control measures in place are sufficient for the task.[/caption]

Pollution could still be present even though ventilation systems are in place

Even with control measures like fume hoods in place, pollution could still get into the atmosphere in the working environment. Simple errors like leaving sash covers open, having the extraction settings turned down too low, saturated filters in a filtration fume hood, or staff working outside the ventilation control¬†can all lead to excess vapours getting out into the work environment. Many fume hoods and cupboards have sensors built in to alert you if the sash is open, or the air flow is compromised, but these will not tell you if contamination levels outside the fume hood have risen. Employers have a duty of care under COSHH regulations to ensure that employees are not exposed to hazardous substances via inhalation, so it is important to be aware of whether your control measures are working effectively.  

Monitoring the general work environment air

The Halo Sense monitors from Erlab solve this issue - they constantly monitor the air quality in the general work environment, and alert with visible flashing and an audible alarm if pollution levels rise. There are 3 models available to detect VOC's (volatile organic compounds), acids or formaldehyde. All models can be quickly set up in under 30 minutes, and can either connect straight to one PC or can be connected to an internal intranet for remote access and monitoring. The unit itself can sit on a bench or shelf, or be wall mounted to save space. If the pollution levels rise, the unit pulses with light and an alarm sounds to alert you. Even after the alarm is stopped, a log that it was triggered remains on the system so over time you can identify trends of how often it is triggered and when.   For more information on the Halo Sense, fume hoods or other laboratory safety solutions just follow the links above or contact us with any questions;
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