I'm a formulation chemist. My co-worker, is also a formulation scientist but has no previous formal training in chemical safety or lab chemistry settings.
I always work in the hood unless I’m just mixing fruit extracts or something non-volatile. My coworker doesn't ever work in the hood as they believe that since this goes in food it must be safe. The lab is small and our work stations are pretty close. My coworker opens up reagent bottles and performs all other tasks on the bench top.
I don't think their reasoning is correct since in food items, the chemicals we work with are present in the ppm to ppb ranges whereas when a pure bottle of them is opened on a lab bench, they are in high concentrations. In addition we face prolonged exposure ($8$ hr work days,$5$ days a week). The two scenarios are very different.
Also, I feel like I’ve had a sore throat ever since I’ve started working there.
I just don’t think these are prudent lab practices. Am I overreacting or does my coworker need to start working in the hood?