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Carbon Filters: Why quality matters

Efficient filter frame design, proper loose carbon granule preparation and continuity in frame-filling are critical to safe ductless fume hood operation. From facility managers to end-users, all personnel must be confident in the efficacy of any replacement filter to protect against the hazardous fumes and vapors that the fume hood is designed to contain.

Carbon Quality Matters

Carbon filters must be replaced on a regular schedule to avoid the effects of over-saturation and to protect laboratory personnel from harmful vapors generated on the work surface. Even small levels of hazardous vapors that pass through old, expended filters pose significant risks. As important as a filter replacement schedule is for continued laboratory safety, the benefits are dependent upon initial filter quality. Because effective filter adsorption and chemisorption are entirely reliant on filter quality, replacement filters that use quality carbon can optimize fume hood performance. Additionally, the ability of a filter to function safely and efficiently depends on several factors, including temperature, humidity, residence time, filter age, evaporation rate and chemical concentration.

Cheap replacement filters not only jeopardize safety by creating hidden workplace hazards, but they can also void the manufacturer’s warranty of your equipment. In addition, aftermarket, homemade or filters of questionable quality pose significant risks to laboratory personnel. While these filters may be cheaper, they are often made using inferior carbon packing that will not protect against chemical hazards. For example, low-quality carbon filters are often filled with common charcoal used in fish tank filters. This carbon is not chemically prepared to contain chemical vapors.

Learn more about the benefits of Quality Carbon Filters in our latest brief or how to identify quality replacement carbon filters the free Air Science® ebook Filter Integrity: Why Do-It-Yourself Replacement Carbon Filters Can Endanger Lab and Personnel Safety.