Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 12:14:34 -0700
Reply-To: "Sheila M. Kennedy" <smk**At_Symbol_Here**CHEM.UCSD.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Sheila M. Kennedy" <smk**At_Symbol_Here**CHEM.UCSD.EDU>
Subject: require lab coats?
Comments: To: LABSAFETY-L Discussion List

Listers (with apologies to those who subscribe to both lists):
I am repeating this message in hopes of receiving more input before we
meet to make a decision on this issue.

Replies received so far are below - perhaps if you agree with one of
them (or your policy is the same as theirs) you could send a short note
to that effect.
Many thanks. Sheila

Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Undergraduate Teaching Labs
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA  92093-0303
(858) 534-0221

We have come to the point of considering whether we should require lab
coats in our chemistry undergraduate labs.
FOR THOSE IN ACADEMIC PROGRAMS: Do you require/recommend lab coats for
FOR THOSE IN INDUSTRY/RESEARCH: Do you require/recommend lab coats in
your labs? What would you like us to teach our students about lab coats
before they come to work for you as new chemists/biologists/technicians?
Many thanks for all input.

Forensic Sciences Command, IL State Police:  We do require their use, as
you would expect, in our laboratories, since we can deal with some nasty
stuff  -  we provide the coats and the laundry service for them.

Culligan Analytical Labs:  At Culligan we require that everyone working
in the laboratories wear lab coats.  We provide the lab coats and
laundry service.  This helps solve the problem of purchasing clothing
that has been ruined from chemical splashes.  I have worked for several
companies and all of them provided lab coats and laundry service.

Pall Corporation PED:  PLEASE teach them to wear lab coats.  I have
research scientists who just don't understand why my corporation gets
upset with them wearing shorts and skirts in the lab.  "If all I am
doing is running a GC or tensile tester... what's the point?" they say
(ignoring the corrosives work and distillations occurring a few feet
away).   Training generally gets them on track, but it helps when they
hear it from several places, not just from me!!!

Carleton U.- Ottawa:  LAB COATS ARE ABSOLUTE MUST!!!!from day one
student steps into laboratory. I do not know what else is there for

John Carroll University:  we have purchased disposable lab coats to
resell to the students at cost.  The cost is so nominal that most
students buy them just to protect their clothing. [Funny...they're more
concerned about their clothing than about their skin]

Contact American Health and Safety 800-522-7554 and ask for disposable
lab coats **At_Symbol_Here** ~$1.55 each

Cal-Poly:  We recommend lab coats for undergraduates in our organic
chemistry labs - less than 5% of the students buy them.

However, we provide vinyl aprons in ALL of our undergraduate labs and
project rooms and REQUIRE that they be worn during labs involving the
possibility of chemical splash.  By the way, we instituted the apron
policy 6 years ago and have only showered one student since then (we use
to shower 2 students a year).  The students do not seem to mind wearing
aprons in lab.

Our technical support staff and student assistants are required to wear
lab coats while at work, adding an apron layer when chemical splash is a

Carnegie-Mellon:  In the chemistry program at Carnegie Mellon, we do
require lab coats be worn in the laboratory.  In the majors courses we
loan them cloth coats that we send to the university laundry at the end
of each semester.  In our introductory course for non-majors they
receive disposable coats that are paid for by a lab fee.

This has solved a lot of our issues with "inappropriate" dress (when are
shorts or skirts too short etc).  When they wear a buttoned coat that
comes to or close to their knees, the process became much more
straightforward for us.

Whitman College:  They are only required here if students come to lab
with their bellies exposed.We always have a few in the lab if the
students otherwise choose to use them.Our advanced gen chem class dyed
them early in the semester, then most continued wearing them for the
duration of the term.  They were $20 atDharma Trading Company, and we
just tacked that on as a lab fee.

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