In the United States alone there are more than 7 billion lab tests performed annually.1 Controlling the Relative Humidity within the complex environment of a laboratory generates more accurate test results, prevents contamination, and promotes a healthier work environment for staff.  

A primary concern is the prevention of contamination, the potential for the growth of microbes and bacteria increases in an improperly controlled environment. When humidity levels are too low the potential for static buildup increases allowing contaminants to collect. In unfavorable conditions, microbes and bacteria reproduce at an exponential rate. This not only impacts testing results but also diminishes the life cycle of expensive equipment.  

In the United States, there are over 500,000 workers employed in laboratories.2 Relative humidity not only creates a more comfortable environment for workers but also reduces the spread of airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and the seasonal flu. 

Issues caused by low or fluctuating relative humidity

Impact on testing 

  • Humidity levels that are too high or too low can interfere with test results.
  • Whether from a brief interval when an HVAC system starts up or season changes, the slightest fluctuation in humidity can affect the accuracy of sensitive testing.

Protection of equipment 

  • In an overly dry environment, there is potential for static to build up which will allow contaminants to collect on equipment.
  • In an uncontrolled environment the life span of expensive equipment such as spectrometers and electronic microscopes can be notably reduced.  

Wellness of staff

  • The use of humidification can help to reduce the spread of viruses like COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal influenza helping to protect the wellbeing of staff.


Buyer’s Guide: Humidification for Laboratories
Learn more how issues caused by low or fluctuating humidity levels can negatively affect a laboratory, creating the potential for inaccurate results and reducing life span of expensive equipment. 


  1. Value of lab testing
  2. Laboratories, United States Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration