Laboratory Safety Problems
In 1990, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) disclosed actuarial figures which showed that laboratory personnel have a lifespan ten years shorter than the normal average.
Part of OSHA's final rule on Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories published on January 31, 1990, suggested that the problem in large part was due to chemical exposure in laboratories. Since fume hoods are regarded as the primary exposure control devices in laboratories, the OSHA findings can be interpreted to suggest that poor fume hood containment was the source of the problem. It is also likely that this was one of the main reasons why the performance standard for the fume hood tracer gas test was also raised from an allowable concentration of 0.5ppm to 0.05ppm.
China established its first standard for fume hoods in 1999 and set the tracer gas detection limit to 0.5ppm, the same amount used by the 1985 U.S. standard which led to OSHA's adverse actuarial figures in 1990. The 0.5ppm limit in the China standard remains unchanged even to this day. What's even more serious is the fact that the vast majority of Chinese hoods currently in use don't have any third-party testing, with actual containment losses far exceeding 0.5ppm. Most laboratory construction projects, including top-tier universities and first-class research institutions, don't even have fume hood performance safety requirements listed in their bidding documents. This situation poses a serious threat to the health and safety of laboratory workers and is in dire need of immediate correction.
 U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, 29 CFR Part 1910, Federal Register, January 31, 1990.