Minimum Ventilation Requirements for Chemical Storage

Written by kristin swain
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Chemicals must be stored according to safety requirements and what their chemical composition is. Dangerous chemicals such as acids must be stored with more care than non-abrasive chemicals. Chemicals that are toxic when inhaled must be stored in airtight containers in areas that meet minimum ventilation requirements set forth by the government for personal and public safety concerns.

Natural Air

All storage buildings and cabinets should have some type of natural ventilation system. These storage areas can use any type of air inlet vents that promote natural ventilation. These vents should provide one cubic foot per minute per square foot of floor or shelf space of ventilation to meet minimum safety requirements. All vents used in these systems are required to have an individual lever that can be adjusted to allow for maximum air flow. These vents should also be equipped to keep birds and other animals out.


All chemical storage areas should be equipped with an electrical heating and cooling system to keep chemicals at their optimum temperature for safe storage. The thermostat should be able to control the temperature in a range between 10.0 and 32.2 degrees C on average. Chemicals that require cold storage should have a thermostat that goes 10 degrees C below zero and should be equipped to function properly in the colder temperatures. All thermostats should be rigged with an auto ignition for temperatures at or above 280 degrees C.

Air Conditioning

Electrical air conditioners can facilitate ventilation for chemical storage areas. These air conditioners are required to have a protective coating applied to all exposed surfaces and functioning parts that will keep them safe from corrosion from the chemicals. The air conditioner must be rated as explosion proof by the government before use in a chemical storage area and be approved for use in hazardous locations. To meet minimum requirements the air conditioner should have one interior bulb and one exterior thermostat control that features adjustable temperature settings.

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