Did you ever wonder whether that fume hood you look at every day was really necessary? You would probably rather not find out. The hoods are intended to capture and remove vapors and other airborne hazards to make your work environment a safer place to be. Air quality and emissions are generally regulated by the Clean Air Act (CAA), although most research and teaching activities in laboratory hoods will be exempt from permitting and reporting requirements in the CAA.
As always there are states that have more stringent guidelines associated with permitting and reporting requirements associated with fume hoods. In general, it's also not a bad idea to check with your EH&S department if you have questions about the fume hoods since there are some states and local regulatory agencies that may have more stringent requirements than the federal requirements. In addition, some schools have prepared an estimated emissions inventory to assess what air quality regulations may apply.
Continue on through this section of the tour to learn more about environmental laws/regulations and best practices associated with fume hoods.