Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ventilation Safety Recommendations for Your Lab Design

FanGood laboratory design is not just about efficient workstation layouts, component placements, and emergency exits. Dedicated lab furniture, storage units, and other components must be carefully and mindfully placed to avoid tripping hazards and other lab safety issues.

But that’s not all. Ventilation is a key lab safety factor that must be considered also in any lab design. Every lab must include the ability to safely remove contaminated air and circulate sufficiently cooled or heated air to prevent unwanted spontaneous reactions or overheated equipment.

Here are some considerations for incorporating safety cabinets, fume hoods, and canopy hoods into your new lab design or renovation project.

Biological Safety Cabinets

A biological containment system is only effective if airflow around the cabinet remains within spec during use. Thus, every biological safety cabinet must be installed and tested appropriately to ascertain sufficient airflow. OSHA states that biological safety cabinets must be certified each year—but also every time they are moved.

This means that if your renovated lab design entails rearranging equipment, you will need to be certain there is sufficient airflow in the new location, and also have the cabinet re-tested after the new setup is complete.

Unlike mass spectrometers, which can easily be moved around the lab on dedicated lab furniture with casters, your biological safety cabinet needs to remain where it is installed. Otherwise, it will need to be recertified every time a move occurs.

Chemical Fume Hoods

Fume hoods provide the primary control for protecting lab techs who work with flammable or toxic chemicals. This means that they hold a primary place in any lab safety process. As with biological safety cabinets, OSHA requires that chemical fume hoods provide sufficient airflow throughout any lab procedure.

When creating any new lab design, care must be taken to ensure that nothing will block the airflow through the baffles or baffle exhaust slots. Sufficient safe storage for all chemicals must also be located nearby, so that technicians are not tempted to store chemicals within the fume hood, which is also against OSHA regulations. Including a backup power generator for each fume hood is also recommended to prevent accidental loss of airflow during any power failure.

Canopy Hoods

It is important for any lab designer to remember the difference between fume hoods and canopy hoods. Canopy hoods are only intended to vent heat in general, or for specific processes, such as autoclaves.

While industrial-level ventilation may not be necessary, canopy hoods must still vent air outside the lab workspace, and preferably outside the building completely. Canopy hoods are also not meant to be used for personal workstations, so an adequate lab design must allow for this.

Lab Safety Knowhow for You

To learn more about the ventilation and electrical needs of today’s working labs, or to find out how dedicated lab furniture—including our customizable lab benches for mass spectrometry—can increase the safety and efficiency of your lab, reach out to talk with us today.


Keeping Up with Mass Spectrometry Innovation: A Buyer’s Guide

ChoiceInnovation is always the name of the game, isn’t it? The inventors of mass spectrometry would have a hard time recognizing today’s mass specs and the dedicated lab furniture that keeps these modern marvels running most efficiently. The types of MS units available are almost as varied as their uses.

Let’s cut through some of the clutter by focusing on some of the latest mass specs to hit the market and connect you with further information on the top manufacturers of these marvels of innovation.


This company’s Lipidyzer allows any lab to perform advanced lipidomics with ease. Its one-stop benchtop platform accurately and quickly quantifies over a thousand lipid species. Specifically designed software assists with species identification and biological interpretation. The platform also utilizes cloud-based data sharing with access to mass spectrometry specialists.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

For assistance in screening a broad range of complex compounds, the Q Exactive™ Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer is your choice. Eliminate isobaric interferences with a resolving power of up to 140,000 FWHM. Fast scan at 12hz for UHPLC applications. Detect singly charged small molecules with extended mass range of 6,000m/z. A variety of additional features make this MS suitable for multiple applications ranging from toxicology and food safety to drug discovery and proteomics.

Two New Mass Spectrometry Solutions from Shimadzu

Shimadzu’s GCMS-TQ8040 combines three proprietary processes in its triple quadrupole MS. Smart Productivity firmware assesses as many as 32,768 transitions in a single analysis. Smart Operation software automatically sets analytical conditions for painless method development. Smart Performance utilizes an extremely efficient ion source and collision cell for low detection limits, while the analysis mode provides both accurate low-level quantitative data and high-quality searchable fragmentation spectra within just one analysis.

And Shimadzu’s LCMS-8060 transforms tandem MS speed with a machine that is durable as well as extremely sensitive. This workhorse would be at home on any modern piece of dedicated lab furniture.

Three New Mass Specs from Waters

Our last group of new lab marvels comes from Waters. For the pharmaceutical research and development lab, choose the Biopharmaceutical Platform Solution with UNIFI. LC and MS characterization data can be comprehensively and routinely acquired, processed, and reported for every step in a biotherapeutic’s development lifecycle. Optical-detection UNIFI and UPLC bioseparations provide a foundation, while you can leverage MS to fully annotate your peptide map by using their patented technology to obtain exact mass precursor and fragment ion information.

To save time and money in your lab, Waters has now introduced mass spectrometry that needs no chromatography or sample preparation. The REIMS Research System with iKnife Sampling accurately generates a mass spec profile in just a few seconds. Detailed molecular information is generated by absorbing information-rich vapor directly from the sample’s surface with the hand-held iKnife sampling device. Like the once-ingenious computer mouse with its long tail, the iKnife utilizes a long, flexible connection between mass spec and sampler, allowing researchers freedom of movement around the lab.

If you want a complete package, go with the Waters Vion IMS QTof Mass Spectrometer, which integrates ion mobility with their innovative iKnife system. This benchtop platform—which can fit handily on one of our custom pieces of dedicated lab furniture—uses ion mobility to clarify every spectrum, simplifying data interpretation. This system allows for greater selectivity than a traditional tandem system.

Dedicated Lab Furniture for Every MS Need

In addition to the latest MS advances discussed above, there are of course a number of manufacturers:

There are so many MS suppliers today and a variety of different types, sizes, and shapes of mass specs on the market, each tailored to meet the needs of particular labs and their tasks. Because we customize our dedicated lab furniture, we can provide a suitable and safe lab bench for any mass spectrometry device your lab uses. To learn more, contact us today.

Meet with Us at HPLC 2016 in San Francisco, June 21-24.

HPLCHPLC 2016, the 44th international symposium on high performance liquid phase separations and related techniques is coming up, and IonBench will be there. Come see us at booth 513 in the exhibition area to learn about how the IonBench line of dedicated lab furniture can protect your mass spec, your ears, and your lab work efficiency. So if you plan on attending the conference June 19th through the 24th, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco (Exhibition Hall dates are June 21st through the 24th), we look forward to meeting you!

Incorporating Storage Safety Recommendations into Your Lab Design

StorageWhile every lab is different, labs in general have a number of common elements that factor into safety. Every laboratory design must incorporate assessments of the procedures expected to take place, the lab safety of the researchers and technicians conducting those procedures, and the types and volumes of hazardous materials they will be using.

But you don’t just need to consider lab technicians’ safety as they’re working with hazardous materials—you also need to plan in the lab design stage for how they’ll safely store those materials when they’re not working with them.

Secure Shelving Requirements

Some storage requirements are fairly straightforward. When storing any chemicals or other hazardous materials on open shelving, it’s important to purchase dedicated lab furniture shelving that includes edge guards.

These edge guards should measure between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch in height and should run around all four sides of the shelf. Whether the shelf units are out in the open for easy access or tucked away in a well-ventilated storage closet, the edge guards should prevent any containers from spilling onto other hazardous materials or nearby equipment or personnel.

Corralling Corrosive and Flammable Materials with Dedicated Lab Furniture

When it comes to hazardous liquids, specialized storage cabinets are required, and you must integrate space for them into your lab design. The National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories have approved certain types of dedicated lab furniture for both flammable and corrosive liquids. Specially designed storage cabinets must be resistant to fire and corrosion, and acids must be stored separately from bases.

Cylinders holding compressed gas must be securely attached to a stable structure, using non-combustible metal chains or similar materials. You should avoid anything that could burn in a fire, such as cloth or leather straps. This is why it’s critical to understand exactly what types of procedures will take place in research labs and incorporate sufficient cabinets and supportive storage spaces and anchors into each new lab design.

Implementing Signage in Your Lab Design

Along with using appropriate dedicated lab furniture for safe storage, each shelf unit or cabinet will need to be labeled with the correct signage. All cabinets that will hold flammable liquids must have a sign saying FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS. Cabinets or shelving that will hold acids must have an ACIDS sign. Cabinets containing alkaline liquids must be labeled BASES or ALKALIS. Finally, all strong oxidizers must be identified with a sign saying OXIDIZERS.

There is more to these signage requirements than a simple organizational strategy. Separating hazardous materials lessens the likelihood of accidental, and potentially dangerous, chemical reactions. The signs also provide tired lab assistants with an additional visual reminder not to store hazardous materials in the wrong place.

Increase the Safety of Your Lab

Naturally, we are strong advocates for using the right types of dedicated lab furniture in every laboratory design. Whether you’re planning space for hazardous materials cabinets or mobile mass spectrometry lab benches, using specially designed and dedicated lab furniture will always contribute to increased lab safety. To learn more about the advantages of our space-saving, movable mass spectrometry or HPLC benches, contact us today.